“Freedom and Justice” should mean more for the youth – FBNBank MD

 The Managing Director of FBN­Bank, Mr. Victor Yaw Asante has urged institutions and all stakehold­ers in a position to support youth development to be guided by the country’s motto, “Freedom and Justice” in delivering benefit to the critical segment of the population.

Mr. Asante was speaking to a section of the media on the Bank’s agenda for the youth which he had declared as one of the Bank’s focus areas, in 2022. From that time FBNBank has undertaken a number of activities in line with the Bank’s agenda. Key among them being a Career Fair at the University of Ghana Campus and joining the Government of Gha­na’s YouStart Initiative. The Bank’s objective in all cases has been and remains to provide opportunities for the youth of Ghana in the areas of career development, en­trepreneurship and mentoring.

Presently, the youth form over 57 percent of Ghana’s 30 million plus population. Specifically, 57 percent of the population, that is over 17.1 million Ghanaians, are under 25 years. The definition of “youth”, however, under Ghana’s Youth Policy indicates that it is persons between ages 25 and 35. This therefore means that Ghana has well over 57 percent of its population classified as youth.

According to Mr. Asante, “with such a significant percentage of our population in the youth bracket it is imperative that we continue to cater for them in order to achieve national development goals. In 2023 we certainly have to up the ante. This is because Ghana is believed to be facing about 12 percent youth unemployment and more than 50 percent underem­ployment. For us at FBNBank this means that we have to ensure that we put the youth at the heart of everything we do. This, will mean supporting them to enjoy the freedom which opportunities like entrepreneurship and jobs provide. Most importantly, the advantage of having a just and equal chance to have access to these opportu­nities. This will be a great way of giving true meaning to ‘Freedom and Justice’ to our youth”

“Freedom and Justice”, Ghana’s motto, forms the bedrock of the country’s existence and under­lies Ghana’s actions as it pursues national development goals. In marketing terms, it is the ethos of the country’s brand; what it should be known for and what defines it and its actions.

The willingness of institutions like FBNBank to support the youth by way of employment and entrepreneurship and the govern­ment’s new YouStart Initiative are two good efforts which should provide hope for the youth. “Banks in Ghana have always played the game-changer role for the country and this has predated our independence. Way back in the colonial era, banks monetised our economy and provided support for the hot spots of development. In our current situation, banks, especially FBNBank, can deliver true meaning to our ‘Freedom and Justice’ motto to the youth of this country. The conversation is however not limited to banks. It includes all institutions and stake­holders who are in the position to support youth development. We must all do more to ensure that the next generation of Ghanaians have the right skills and knowledge to move this country forward. True “Freedom and Justice”, for the youth in Ghana, must mean em­ployment opportunities, more av­enues to pursue a career or start a business in an environment where there is equality, no discrimination and a reasonable provision for protecting the country’s future in terms of both natural and human resources”, says Mr. Asante.

FBNBank Ghana has truly factored the youth in its plans since 2022. Issues like career development, training, mentorship and entrepreneurship all feature prominently in what FBNBank has been offering the youth of Ghana. With the focus on the youth, the Bank believes that it is best placed to support young entrepreneurs with not just products but also the relevant skills and advise to ensure that they succeed. In 2023 also, the Bank’s own youth agenda includes the offering of career guidance, business advisory, entrepreneurship training and financial products to young people.

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