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In collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Global Communities - YIEDIE held the Policy Action workshop on January 17th, 2018 at Coconut Groove Hotel in Accra. The workshop aimed to find ways of collectively improving the local business and environment to promote youth entrepreneurship, employment, and skills development with regards to the construction sector in line with the government’s agenda of promoting the private sector as engine of growth. A variety of key stakeholders in government attended the event, including members of the Metropolitan Assembly, and the Honorable Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah. Also in attendance were Global Communities – Ghana Country Director, Alberto Wilde, YIEDIE staff and partners of the YIEDIE consortium, including Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG), Africa Aurora Business Network (AABN), HFC-Boafo, and Opportunities Industrialization Centre of Ghana (OICG).

 

Key Questions

The group sought to answer a set of key questions regarding Ghana’s business environment and the actions that need to be taken towards making it more conducive for youth employment and entrepreneurship. Those questions were as follows:

  1. What are the top barriers for youth entry into the labor market and employment (with focus on the construction sector)? Do these barriers differ by sectors, gender or age?
  2. How do broader national and global sector context shape opportunities and impose constraints on local industries (construction firms) and the potential for youth employment?
  3. Do partnerships between Local Assemblies, NGOs, Training Providers and businesses contribute to better job placement and sustainable employment?
  4. What specific strategies and interventions can local assemblies take to increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people?

 

Youth Unemployment Challenges

Global Communities – Ghana Country Director, Alberto Wilde, kicked-off the event by sharing insights on Ghana’s youth demographic and the unemployment challenges faced today. “While GDP growth rate has averaged 6 percent in the last decade, youth unemployment particularly in urban areas still remains high”, he noted. Meanwhile, the challenges faced young women is even more staggering. Mr. Wilde informed participants of the workshop that female representation in most industries and sectors of the economy remain very low. “Not only are women underrepresented in leadership and managerial roles, they are also underrepresented across all levels of employment.” The YIEDIE project aims to bridge the gender gap in Ghana’s construction sector by offering technical training for both young women and equip them with the business development and financial literacy skills to attain employment.

 

YIEDIE

The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) is a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for economically disadvantaged youth, implemented by Global Communities (formerly CHF International) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. YIEDIE will directly reach at least 23,700 youth with training in technical, life and entrepreneurship skills leading to employment. The project applies an integrated, youth-led market-systems model to improve the capacity of youth and service providers across the value chain. It is training young women and men in technical construction skills and helping youth to grow and start small businesses. It is also increasing collaboration and support amongst construction sector stakeholders to improve their enabling environment.

 

The Mayor’s Address

Honorable Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah took the stage, as the guest of honor, and delivered a speech highlighting some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Hon. Sowah praised the work being done by the YIEDIE project towards equipping the youth with technical skills and linking them to meaningful employment. “The government believes the private sector is the engine of growth and YIEDIE project is one of such”, he noted. “The construction sector is booming. It will not seize; it will not stop.”

 

The Way Forward

Global Communities and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards creating and sustaining a business environment that would be conducive to youth employment and entrepreneurship. Listed in the official document are the responsibilities of each party towards this end. Among the responsibilities of the AMA, per this Memorandum, is to facilitate apprenticeships, coaching and mentoring opportunities for young entrepreneurs within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Assembly.

 

 

 

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