Roll out YoubanC satisfactorily

The growing problem of youth unemployment in the country prompted the government to introduce the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in 2006.

The programme was meant to provide employment, job experience and skills to the youth.

It was announced in May 2007 that the NYEP had employed 95,000 young people in various modules and by February 2011, over 108,000 had been recruited, trained and employed under 15 modules

The programme has undergone various changes, including even change of name to Youth Employment Agency (YEA), yet youth unemployment persists and growing because every year a new group of young school leavers join those already in the system.

It is clear that even though the government happens to be the largest employer in the country, it has exhausted vacancies in the public sector, making it difficult for the youth to be absorbed there.

The option left is the private sector but even the formalisedaspect of this  sector is gradually choking so the more promising opening is self-employment but that needs some push.

This is why it is soothing to learn that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has adopted an initiative known as the YoubanCto give financial and technical support to young entrepreneurs in country.

The initiative, to be launched after the reading of the 2022 budget, would be implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) under the COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation for Enterprise Support (CARES).

Individuals aged 18 to 35 years would be expected to apply for financial support through a dedicated YoubanC online portal or through the offices of the GEA and NEIP.

The initiative will also provide capitals for students in the secondary and tertiary educational institutions through an endowment fund under the Student Endowment Initiative. 

No doubt it is about time the youth in the country had a change of mind of always looking to gain employment in the public sector, and began to develop their own business ideas for the country to become an “Enterprise State.”

The guidelines, benefits and beneficiaries of the YouBanc initiative have been provided but we have to be very much concerned about its roll-out.

In Ghana, those put at the helm of affairs usually take advantage of the people such that in the end people who should become cheerful beneficiaries turn out to be sorrowing victims.

What is worse is that in most cases it becomes impossible to seek redress anywhere.

The Ghanaian Times hopes that applicants would be given equal treatment rather than listing some of them on the protocol list and othersanywhere.

Youth unemployment is a security threat as the youth are in their prime of life and alive to what good life entails for which any signs of denying them opportunities to enjoy life can spark unrest.

The situation where the political elites and their cronies hijack initiatives that are meant to ease the suffering of the masses must be avoided so that, at least, some others would get the opportunities to make some money and wealth to bring a measure of joy into their lives and those of their dependants.

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