The government is rolling out a GH ¢ 10 billion program over three years to support start-ups and youth entrepreneurship projects in the country.
With this in mind, the government, through the E-Levy, proposes to use GH ¢ 1 billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem and create a million jobs.
In partnership with its development partners, the government will raise an additional GH ¢ 2 billion to support the same cause.
Local banks have also agreed on a package that will result in increasing their portfolio of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to GH ¢ 5 billion over the next three years.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a post-budget engagement with leaders and MPs in the regional capital of Volta, Ho, last Saturday, the finance minister said: “The government is making the biggest attempt for its history of kicking off the entrepreneurial state.
“Over the next three years, the government will commit up to GH ¢ 1 billion per year for the YouStart initiative, while development partners and financial institutions will supplement government funding with nearly GH ¢ 2 billion. and GH ¢ 5 billion, respectively.
This is a bugle call for a ‘new chord’, ”he added.
This week, the Minister of Finance continues stakeholder commitments and will meet with the Ghana National Student Union to discuss further details on the deployment.
The two-day workshop in Ho facilitated an in-depth dialogue between MPs, the finance ministry and other key stakeholders on the principles and critical issues of the 2022 budget.
In his presentation, Mr. Ofori-Atta said that the 2022 budget “deals with the past and offers opportunities in the present, while investing in the future in a responsible and interconnected way”.
In a lively presentation, he stressed: “The time has come for Ghana to become an ‘entrepreneurial nation’.
The 2022 budget, on the theme: “Building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation: fiscal consolidation and job creation”, emphasizes a post-COVID-19 economic recovery program, centered on youth entrepreneurship.
As a result, the YouStart initiative was announced in the budget as a way to help young entrepreneurs access capital, training, technical skills and mentorship to start and operate their businesses.
The YouStart will be carried out through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP) and partner financial institutions.
Mobilization of domestic revenue
According to the finance minister, the government’s determination was to rely less on borrowing and more on domestic revenue mobilization.
This, he said, would materialize if “we all support these revenue raising and spending rationalization measures.”
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta (2nd from left), Minister of Finance, interacts with an exhibitor while being led around the fair by Dr Archibald Yao Letsa (left), Regional Minister of Volta
“We therefore ask this august Assembly to support us in getting these measures adopted, as you have done in the past. Mr. President, we are determined to reduce the debt burden and promote the sustainability of our debt as a means of building an entrepreneurial state and creating jobs, especially for young people, ”the Minister urged during the presentation. of the budget last Wednesday.
Potential in the Volta region
Regarding the potential of the Volta region, Mr. Ofori-Atta described the dynamic ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the Volta region as a mirror image of what the government sought to harness by putting in place efforts to support the development of the private sector through the YouStart initiative.
He said he was impressed with the level of innovation exhibited by young entrepreneurs especially at the Volta trade fair, which kicked off last week.
He commended the Volta Regional Coordinating Council and the Volta / Eastern / Oti Section of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the organizers of the fair, for their proactive initiative to showcase the ingenuity capacity Ghanaians.
“I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs doing things quietly from here, even with all the challenges.
But that goes to the heart of the question of how to eliminate this problem of youth unemployment which has become an intractable part of our landscape, ”Ofori-Atta said.
He said his visit had emboldened him, as well as the government and his ministry, about the need and desirability of the E-Levy.
Lessons to be learned
Mr. Ofori-Atta also described the Volta Trade Fair as a fine example that other regional ministers can draw on to properly address the issue of entrepreneurship development and a sustainable entrepreneurial nation to find opportunities. solutions to the problem of youth unemployment.
He expressed the Government’s appreciation that the solutions proposed in the 1960s with a then-then Ghanaian youth population of 2.2 million could not be replicated today, with a current youth population of over of 10 million.
It was therefore incumbent on all stakeholders to find innovative ways to tap into the global economy, including through digitization, he said.
Speaker of Parliament Kingsford Alban Sumana Bagbin said he kept his promise never to interfere with government business.
“But that doesn’t mean that if government business is anti-people, I should just close my eyes and see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil and let it go,” he said. -he adds.
He said the workshop provided an excellent opportunity to ask all necessary questions about medium-term programs, and specifically the 2022 budget, and engage stakeholders from various sectors of the economy to seek advice on experts on salient budget issues.
He expressed hope that the program would provide parliamentarians with a clear roadmap to fulfill their oversight mandates and responsibilities as legislators.
Mr Bagbin also visited the Ho Sports Stadium Exhibition Center, where he addressed the exhibitors and praised the regional minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, and the locals for their efforts to court the interests of the various stakeholders and to maintain the dynamism of the fair. and attractive.