The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Mr John Awuah has said that Covid has taught Ghana to focus on building a homegrown economy, one that is owned and managed by Ghanaians.
To that end, he said banks are supporting initiatives of the government such as the YouStart policy.
“Part of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught as that we need to have a homegrown economy, one that is owned and managed by Ghanaians.
“This signing is an attestation that the public and private sector can work together to create value and the entrepreneurial nation we’ve all been yearning for,” Mr Awuah told the GNA during a signing ceremony with 13 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to support the implementation of the commercial part of the GH¢10 billion YouStart entrepreneurship programme.
A Deputy Minister of Finance Dr John Kumah said that the YouStart programme was to deliberately grow start-ups and make them contribute to the Government’s agenda of creating three million jobs but depend largely on the support of banks.
He said this during a signing ceremony with 13 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to support the implementation of the commercial part of the GH¢10 billion YouStart entrepreneurship programme.
Dr John Kumah said the partnership was critical in the Government’s quest to build future entrepreneurs and make Ghana an entrepreneurial State.
He, therefore, urged the PFIs to sustain their support to the programme and ensure its extension to entrepreneurs with businesses in rural areas to help create jobs and uplift many living in those areas from poverty.
The funds would be used to meet the working capital requirement of businesses, support their expansion needs and purchase of equipment or machinery to enhance productivity and create more well-paid jobs, especially for the youth.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, signed for the Government, with Managing Directors of the 13 PFIs signing for their respective banks.
Mr John Awuah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), signed for the coordinating institution of the PFIs, which is GAB.
In his speech at the programme, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said the signing of the agreement showed the commitment on the part of the Government and the private sector to strengthen links between education and job market stakeholders.
He explained that the partnership would provide access to finance, skills, and markets for young Ghanaian entrepreneurs and increase the ability of the private sector to create decent and sustainable jobs.
“Fundamentally, we had to adopt this approach because the pandemic taught us, we must re-orient our approach towards structural transformation and react with a clear plan to reap the benefits of our population dividend by building an Entrepreneurial State,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He noted that the three components of the YouStart programme (Commercial, module, District Entrepreneurship and YouStart Grace Modules) were to ensure that “no one is left behind in building Ghana as an entrepreneurial nation.
He noted that the Banks had worked with the Finance Ministry to design the YouStart programme to help propel businesses forward, particularly younger and smaller businesses.
“It is a positive development. We only must ensure that what we’ve put on paper, when it gets to execution, we all come to the table in a way the agreement has been signed,” Mr Awuah encouraged.