The prospects of Ghanaian youth in global social and financial skills education and training


The development and prosperity of Africa depends on empowering Ghanaian youth with relevant social and financial skills. As one of the youngest regions in the world, Africa’s prosperity hinges on empowering its youth with the necessary skills for personal growth and overall advancement. Ghana boasts a youthful population, with a significant portion under the age of 35.

This demographic presents both opportunities and challenges for the nation’s socio-economic development. To maximise the potential of its youth, Ghana has been actively providing education and training in social and financial skills.

Social skills are paramount for effective communication, collaboration and navigating through various social contexts. Ghanaian youth have embraced numerous programmes and initiatives aimed at enhancing their social skills.

One such initiative is Leadership Development Programmes, whereby organisations and government agencies empower young people to take up leadership roles and contribute positively to their communities. This initiative is spearheaded by the University of Ghana Sports Directorate in collaboration with Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD), and plays a pivotal role in training teachers, coaches, community leaders and volunteers, enabling them to provide high-quality leadership training for the youth.

The collaborative expression’s objective is to create pathways and opportunities for young people and adults to support their schools, communities and career paths.

The importance of financial skills education

Beyond social skills, financial skills education is equally vital for the holistic development of Ghanaian youth. With a focus on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, Ghana aims to equip its young citizens with the knowledge and abilities to make informed financial decisions. These skills are essential for fostering economic growth and stability, both at the individual and national levels.

A Case Study of Ghana’s youth development

Ghana is a country reputed for its vibrant culture and rich history, and youth empowerment has become a top priority to build a brighter future for the next generation. The country has embraced various initiatives to foster a sense of social responsibility, empathy and financial literacy among its young population.

Ghana’s dedication to youth development is exemplified in the case study of their initiatives. The country’s relentless efforts to provide education and training in social and financial skills have paved the way for remarkable progress. As Ghana continues to focus on empowering its youth, the nation’s socio-economic landscape is undergoing a positive transformation.

Community-based projects and volunteering activities are at the forefront of Ghana’s efforts to engage its youth. Ghana believes that active involvement in community development not only contributes to the betterment of society but also imbues important values in the youth.

By participating in such projects, young Ghanaians learn to empathise with the less fortunate and gain a deeper understanding of social issues. These experiences often lead to lasting bonds within the community and inspire a sense of responsibility toward making a positive impact.

Recognising the critical role of financial literacy in shaping the future of African youth, Ghana has taken significant steps to empower its young citizens with financial knowledge. Government is working toward the introduction of financial literacy into the national school curricula, ensuring that students gain a fundamental understanding of personal finance, budgeting and saving from an early age.

This inclusion in formal education aims to equip youths with the skills needed to make informed financial decisions and create sustainable livelihoods.

In addition to school-based education, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and financial institutions in Ghana have played a pivotal role in organising workshops and seminars on financial literacy. These initiatives provide young Ghanaians with practical insights into managing money, investing wisely, and planning for the future.

Research-backed impact of financial literacy programmes

In partnership with Aflatoun, an international non-governmental organisation based in the Netherlands, researchers conducted a randomised evaluation to assess the impact of two school-based financial literacy programmes on Ghanaian youth. The evaluation was carried out in 135 randomly selected schools, focusing on youth savings behaviour, academic performance, attendance and financial literacy.

Results of the research trial revealed encouraging outcomes, including a notable increase in the proportion of students reporting saving at school with a five-percentage point rise. This positive outcome highlights the efficacy of financial skills education in influencing youth saving behaviour and financial decision-making.

Peer mentorship: guiding the way for young minds

In Ghana, the tradition of peer mentorship has thrived for generations. Seasoned and experienced youth take on the role of mentors to guide their younger counterparts. This valuable exchange of knowledge and skills not only helps younger individuals navigate challenges but also fosters a strong sense of camaraderie among the youth. The mentorship programmes have proven to be effective in building confidence and resilience among the young generation.

In recent years, Ghana has been making remarkable strides in empowering its youth to pave their own path to success through entrepreneurship and digital financial skills. Embracing a forward-thinking approach, the Ghanaian government has implemented a series of initiatives to bolster the capabilities and prospects of its young population, equipping them with the tools necessary to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the 21st century.

Entrepreneurship support

Ghana’s commitment to nurturing its youth’s entrepreneurial spirit and equipping them with digital financial skills presents a promising roadmap to prosperity. By investing in the potential and dreams of its young population, Ghana is fostering an environment wherein creativity, innovation and ambition can flourish. Ghanaian youth have been encouraged to dream big and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. Pioneering initiatives such as the YouStart Initiative, spearheaded by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), have played a pivotal role in this endeavour.

Through YouStart, government has paved an engaging path for aspiring young entrepreneurs, offering not just financial assistance but also technical support and mentorship to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. The resounding success of this project is evident in the inspiring story of the Gbefi community in the Kpando municipality of the Volta Region. Here, the YouStart Initiative was deployed with remarkable success, empowering young individuals and youth-led businesses, and reigniting hope in the potential of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for positive change.

As the success stories from the YouStart Initiative continue to inspire and the impact of digital financial skills becomes evident, Ghana stands poised to harness the immense potential of its youth and transform them into dynamic agents of change. With a supportive ecosystem and a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, the Ghanaian youth are well-positioned to carve a brighter future not only for themselves but for the nation as a whole.

To further fuel this entrepreneurial spirit, various programmes have been initiated to offer comprehensive training in business planning, financial management and access to capital for startups. The synergy between public support and private sector involvement has created a robust ecosystem that nurtures innovation and ambition, powering the aspirations of young Ghanaians to make a significant impact on the nation’s economy.

The Impact Hub of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is one of such important entrepreneurial centres dedicated to empowering SMEs to access resources and facilitate domestic production of goods targetted at export markets.

Digital financial skills: unlocking the power of technology

As the world embraces the digital revolution, Ghana recognises the need to equip its youth with the digital financial skills essential for thriving in the age of technology. By harnessing the power of modern advancements, the country has been working diligently to bridge the digital divide and ensure that every young individual can access and leverage digital financial services effectively.

Technology plays a pivotal role in expanding the reach of social and financial skills education and training among African youth, and Ghana is no exception. The increasing availability of smartphones and Internet connectivity has opened up exciting opportunities for online learning, enabling youth to access educational resources and training programmes from the comfort of their homes. With these digital tools at their disposal, the boundaries of learning have been pushed – empowering young Ghanaians to enhance their financial literacy and embrace the digital landscape confidently.

A roadmap to prosperity

Ghana has witnessed commendable advancements in its efforts to bolster youth education and employment opportunities. However, the journey forward remains dotted with challenges that demand immediate attention and collective action from all stakeholders. Addressing these impediments is vital to ensuring the holistic development and prosperity of the nation.


One of the primary challenges confronting Ghana is the disparity in access to quality education, particularly in rural areas of the Northern, Oti, Volta, and Western Regions.

Despite notable strides, the educational landscape in these regions remains woefully inadequate. To foster a more inclusive society, it is imperative to strive for equitable access to education and skills training across the country through the implementation of free education from the basic to high school levels.

Additionally, the spectre of youth unemployment looms large over Ghana – as it does in many African nations. An effective response to this pressing issue calls for a comprehensive approach. Key elements include generating viable job opportunities, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, and harmonising educational curricula with the dynamic demands of the job market.

The government of Ghana therefore implemented another policy to engage the youth through the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, which is yet to be evaluated on its impact.

Finally, cultural norms and societal expectations also cast a shadow on the full participation of young people, especially girls, in education and training programmes. Deep-rooted gender disparities must be confronted head-on, and an inclusive environment must be nurtured to empower all segments of the youth population.

Recommendations and action plans

To progress toward a brighter future, Ghana together with other African countries must continue investing substantially in the education and training of its youth. Such investments will herald the acquisition of essential skills that are in sync with the ever-evolving job market, bolstering employability and driving economic growth.

Encouraging innovation and creativity is equally vital to steering Ghana’s youth toward success. Cultivating an environment that embraces new ideas and fosters entrepreneurship will empower young minds to become agents of positive change and drive innovation-led development.

Youth-led financial inclusion initiatives: empowering marginalised communities

Ghanaian youth, like their counterparts across the continent, have recognised the significance of financial inclusion in uplifting marginalised communities. Through innovative projects initiated and led by African youth, financial services can be made accessible to rural populations and women who often face barriers to financial participation. By collaborating with financial institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), young leaders can design tailor-made programmes that address the unique needs and challenges of these underserved groups.

Networking and collaboration: fostering global citizenship

Collaboration is key to maximising impact, and African youth can achieve this by forming networks and partnerships with other youth organisations worldwide. Through cross-cultural exchange, they can share best practices, exchange ideas and access resources related to social and financial skills education. This collaboration fosters a sense of global citizenship among African youth, promoting mutual understanding and inspiring them to become active participants in the global effort for sustainable development.

Digital media and awareness: amplifying voices for change

In today’s interconnected world, digital media serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness about the importance of social and financial skills education. Ghanaian youth, adept at leveraging social media and digital platforms, can utilise these channels to create engaging content and participate in online discussions. By doing so, they can mobilise a broader audience, garner support and spread the message of empowerment and financial literacy to a wider community.

Government support for fintech entrepreneurship in Ghana

The government of Ghana acknowledges the critical role of FinTech entrepreneurship in driving economic growth and promoting financial inclusion. To this end, the Digital Financial Service (DFS) Policy was launched with specific outlines to measure support and enhance the FinTech ecosystem in the country.

Creating fintech innovation hubs: The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) established innovation hubs through Ghana Digital Centres Limited across the country dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs in Ghana’s burgeoning FinTech industry.

These hubs offer venture incubation, business and skill development, and foster multinational and global partnerships. By nurturing a conducive environment for innovation, these hubs facilitate young entrepreneurs to flourish and contribute to the country’s digital financial services landscape.

Promoting local and regional conferences: The government of Ghana must endeavour to facilitate and sponsor local and regional conferences and events that focus on raising the local FinTech industry’s profile. These platforms will provide opportunities for FinTech entrepreneurs to showcase their solutions, attract investments and forge valuable connections within the industry.

Strengthening social impact initiatives through financial skills education

African youths’ involvement in social impact projects has seen a remarkable rise in recent years. By integrating financial skills education into these initiatives, they can enhance their ability to manage resources effectively; thus ensuring that their efforts have a lasting impact on the communities they serve. Understanding financial principles, budgeting and investment strategies empowers youth-led initiatives to make informed decisions and allocate resources more efficiently.

Empowering communities through knowledge-sharing

The power of knowledge is boundless, and African youth can harness this power to enhance financial literacy within their communities. By organising workshops, seminars and online campaigns, they can impart essential financial skills such as budgeting, saving, investing and responsible borrowing. Through these initiatives, they encourage informed decision-making and prudent financial practices, leading to increased financial well-being for individuals and communities alike.

Leveraging digital channels for financial inclusion

In the digital age, technology serves as an enabler of progress and accessibility. African youths are often early adopters of technology, and they can leverage this advantage to introduce their communities to digital financial tools, mobile banking and online payment systems. By doing so they bridge the gap in financial inclusion and make financial services more accessible to those in remote areas, thereby fostering economic growth and prosperity.

Technology and digital skills: the catalysts for change

Innovation knows no boundaries, and African youth are at the forefront of embracing technological advancements. Their proficiency in digital skills allows them to revolutionise the financial landscape. By incorporating technology into various aspects of finance, such as mobile banking, blockchain-based transactions and digital wallets, they pave the way for a more efficient and secure financial system.

Empowering entrepreneurs through e-commerce

E-commerce holds tremendous potential for driving economic growth, and African youth can harness this potential to empower budding entrepreneurs. By promoting e-commerce platforms and offering guidance on digital marketing and financial management, they encourage the establishment of online businesses – leading to job creation and economic prosperity.

Entrepreneurial development: fostering innovation for local solutions

Africa’s youth are a wellspring of innovative ideas that can address local challenges in unique ways. By nurturing entrepreneurial development, they not only create opportunities for themselves but also contribute to the socio-economic development of their countries. Training in business development, marketing and financial management equips them with the tools to turn their visions into reality; thus spurring a wave of transformative change.

Social impact entrepreneurship

Beyond profit-driven ventures, African youth can also embrace social impact entrepreneurship. By focusing on projects that tackle social and environmental issues, they become agents of positive change and contribute to sustainable development. Their dedication to creating a better world through business innovation can inspire and mobilise others to join the cause.

Shaping the future of learning

Education is the cornerstone of progress, and African youth can advocate for improved access to quality education that includes comprehensive social and financial skills training. By engaging with policymakers and educational institutions, they can influence the integration of financial literacy and life skills into the curriculum. This approach equips future generations with essential knowledge to navigate complexities of the modern financial world.

Bridging the gender gap in education

Promoting gender equity is paramount to unleashing Africa’s full potential. African youth can actively advocate for the education and empowerment of girls, ensuring they have equal access to educational opportunities. By breaking down barriers, they foster a society where every individual can contribute meaningfully to the advancement of their nation.


African youth are stepping up and taking an active role in social impact initiatives, demonstrating their commitment to creating positive change within their communities and beyond. From community development and environmental conservation to healthcare and financial inclusion, young individuals across the continent are dedicating themselves to fostering sustainable development.

By nurturing empathy, knowledge-sharing and financial literacy, Ghana paves the way for its youth to become empowered leaders and active contributors to the country’s economic growth and development. Ghana’s commitment to empowering its youth through community engagement, peer mentorship and financial skills education reflects the nation’s determination to create a prosperous and socially responsible generation.

A collaborative effort among various stakeholders is crucial to advancing the cause of youth empowerment. Governments, private sector entities, civil society and international organisations must forge strong partnerships and work together in unison to ensure sustainable and inclusive development. Ghana’s political and social initiatives demonstrate the remarkable impact of investing in the youth’s future and their capacity to become globally competitive in all spheres of skills and knowledge.

In the face of global challenges and uncertainties, Ghana’s visionary approach to empowering its youth is a beacon of hope and inspiration for other nations seeking to tap into the boundless energy and potential of their own young generations. As the sun rises on Ghana’s path to progress, the world watches with anticipation and admiration; knowing that investing in dreams of the youth is key to unlocking a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

The role of Ghanaian youth in global social and financial skills education and training is indispensable for the development and prosperity of Africa. As Ghana continues to focus on empowering its young population, the nation sets an example for others to follow.

>>>the writer is an International Trade & Investment Consultant with working experience in Africa and Europe. He has LL.M European & International Trade & Investment Law; LL.M International Business Law; MA International Relations; BA Communication Studies; and GCertificate in Mergers & Acquisitions: Concepts & Theories. He can be reached via [email protected]


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