The Ghana Country Director for Mastercard Foundation, Rosy Fynn, says the foundation has robust plans underway to give enough preparation for entrepreneurs to help them take advantage of the huge opportunities the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) brings.
According to her, the Foundation as part of preparations has begun serious conversations with the AfCFTA secretariat to find opportunities for young entrepreneurs that are doing well in business to take advantage of Africa’s biggest market.
She said the Foundation will involve these entrepreneurs in a number of capacity-building programmes to make sure they are well-positioned for the opportunity, and to give them an understanding of how they can join-in and do business with other companies.
“There are actually concerted efforts and discussions going on with the AfCFTA to find opportunities for young people to take advantage of trade opportunities, and this is something that is certain. The Mastercard Foundation is going to be definitely involved in training and building up capacity to be able to take advantage,” she said at the Youth Economic Forum (YEF) in Accra.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world, measured by participating countries involved. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4trillion.
It can help 30 million people escape the worst types of poverty; but in order to fully realise its potential, considerable policy changes and trade facilitation measures must be made.
This, the Mastercard Foundation believes, is arguably the best opportunity for the economy’s most significant transformation; as such, it will remain committed to getting behind the ambitions of young Ghanaians and creating pathways to dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for them.
With the Young Africa Works strategy in place, it seeks to enable access to dignified work opportunities for some three million young people by 2030 through enhanced efforts in the agricultural sector; and also exploring opportunities in emerging sectors, especially in the digital economy.
The Foundation is optimistic that by doing this, and working alongside their partners – government, the private sector and young people – it will unlock the youthful potential to contribute in building back the economy and creating work opportunities for themselves and others.
As part of the YEF, participants were taken through masterclass sessions on entrepreneurship, marketing and agribusiness among others, to receive knowledge on how to position themselves in the various sectors so as to fully take advantage of existing opportunities.
Resource person for the session on entrepreneurship and Deputy Managing Director for JK Horgle Transport and Company Limited, Elinam A. Horgli, called on young entrepreneurs to see entrepreneurship as a long-life journey. She added that they must remain committed and strive for excellence even after attaining success.
According to her, entrepreneurs should have their mission and vision communicated to their staff to enable them remain committed to it.
She also suggested that they view employee motivation and training as a critical component of their quest for business expansion. She further stated that business owners should not be hesitant to fire employees that are unwilling to support the mission of a company, because such a work-related attitude can cause a company to fail.