A 40-member committee have been inaugurated to successfully organize and steer the affairs of African Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES-Africa), an internal youth summit conceived to be held in Sunyani in November this year.
Mr. John Ansu Kumi, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) inaugurated the committee last Tuesday in Sunyani and was optimistic the summit could save Ghana and Africa in the unemployment situations.
“looking at the number of graduates produced by the tertiary institutions every year, government’s policies and intervention alone could not absorb all the teaming youth for employment, therefore, taking up events of this nature is a laudable idea that would equip the individuals cognitively for jobs creation”.
“It is the most ambitious project the Association is bringing on board and a great history in the making, hence, the Assembly would do all it could to support and make it a successful event” the MCE stated in his address after leading the committee members to take the oath of office.
The committee members would work in the areas of health and sanitation, transport and protocol, accommodation and invitation, programs and technical, sponsorship and Funding, publicity and Media, budget and finance, steering committee and the security.
The Summit was envisaged by the Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) as main activity for the year and quest to finding solution to the growing unemployment problem in Africa.
SYDA operates in three thematic areas namely Youth Development Advocacy, Community Development Advocacy and Youth Empowerment through handicraft Skill Training.
The YES-Africa would be a platform to bring development partners, benevolent association, individuals, youth Ministers and all leaders on the African continent, together to discuss possible entrepreneurship drives in the various self-employable sectors.
The summit would create room for a broader consultation and access to support for most youths who have interest to become great entrepreneurs to help lift the burdensome yoke of unemployment on the African continent.
Mr. Stephen Korang, the Bono Regional pharmacist and the Board Chairman for SYDA urged the committee members to demonstrate high commitment and dedication to ensure the YES-Africa was a vision come true, saying, the benefits of this program could not be measured.
Mr. Atta Akoto Senior, President of SYDA, earlier in a welcome address explained the YES-AFRICA is a continental development project that focuses on bringing together African leaders, youth ministers, development partners, businesses, entrepreneurs and others for top-notch engagement to raise youth entrepreneurship awareness.
He said the zeal to organize the summit was also from the Association’s passion to averting the dangerous roaring tide of irregular migration that confronts Ghana and the African continent due to lack of well-paying job opportunities.
According to Mr. Akoto, the summit would be made up of workshops on entrepreneurship development in areas such as agriculture entrepreneurship, football entrepreneurship, coaching and mentoring sessions, practical technical training, ICT training opportunities and other interactive sessions for connections and links creation.
The summit also aimed at making the Bono Regions a hub of Ghana’s youth entrepreneurship as means of halting the menace of irregular migration that has engulfed the region, he added.
Mr. Akoto explained the focus was to channel energies into daring in doing businesses through support and encouragements because”it is on record that Bono youths lead the league table of irregular migrants in Ghana”.
The summit would symbolize the need to reverse the traveling energies and fearlessness of the youths to rather engage in entrepreneurship, and not irregular migration, he said.
This is because one of the reasons people risks their lives across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea to seek greener pastures abroad was lack of decent and a well-paying jobs.
He therefore hoped the YES-Africa would contribute greatly to minimizing, if not total ending irregular migration situations in the Bono region and Ghana general.
According to Mr. Akoto, the World Bank’s 2018 reports indicated that “58 per cent women in Africa choose to become entrepreneurs but unfortunately their profit margins are far below their male counterparts due to lack of capital, discrimination and dearth of collateral”.
The YES-Africa is therefore targeting 60 per cent females and would raise the issue of female entrepreneurship and the need to identity and support women in Africa to enable their businesses get the needed expansion and growth, he said.
Speaking on the advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Mr. Akoto said educating the youths and adequately resourcing them mentally on the benefits of the AfCFTA was one of the expectations of this summit to enable them grow their business across countries within the African continent.
He stated the AfCFTA is a game changer in the African business setting, hence, the youth ought to be enlightened about benefits of the AfCFTA and its utilization as potential to ending unemployment within our continent.
Mr. Akoto called on all well-meaning Ghanaians, development partners, Governments within Africa, youth based organizations, the various embassies and high commissions in Ghana and amongst others to come to support the course as SYDA seeks to help actualize concepts of many youths that have the potential to impact Africa.
It is factual that governments of Africa cannot employ all their youths and for that matter harnessing entrepreneurship would lead to innovative and creativity to raise enterprises and organizations as a solution to the African continent.
The entrepreneurship driven could employ millions of youths to enable them contribute meaningfully toward the development of their respective countries and the continent at large.