FINANCE MINISTER Ken Ofori-Atta has yesterday announced that the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund, which aligns with Government’s overall strategy of developing a competitive and viable private sector economy, will set up a ‘Youth Banc’ to finance youth-led start-up businesses across the country.
He said as part of this initiative, an online investment hub would be established for youth across the country to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses.
“Under this initiative, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be created,” he highlighted.
“Mr. Speaker, the EYSF will be managed by the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), which is being revamped to be better positioned to carry out the designated activities as a Fund Manager.
“We are also pursing the “Obaatanpa” Youth Entrepreneurship Drive, Ghana Skills and Enterprise Development Project, Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Youth in Community Improvement Module, and the Alternative Employment and Livelihood programmes as direct interventions in targeted sectors to help our youth live decent lives and contribute to nation building.
The Finance Minister also indicated that to advance the economic well-being of Ghana’s women, Government was activating a policy to have 20% of procurement awarded to women adding that women would also be supported with specific capacity building programmes and “will be empowered to leverage the gender-sensitive lending policies to be implemented by DBG.”
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had amplified the campaign for a transition away from fossil fuels. “Given the prevailing sentiments around energy transition, there is a strong possibility that Ghana may be left with stranded assets, unless we accelerate our exploration activities and develop a home-grown strategy to extract our fossil fuels.
“As such, GNPC is looking at opportunities for its subsidiary, GNPC Explorco, to acquire such assets and become an operator in its own right to ensure the expeditious development of our hydrocarbon resources. The new strategy may require an amendment or revision of the PRMA to allow GNPC enter into some Reserve-Based Lending (RBL) transactions in order to be able to raise the required financing to consummate these acquisitions and to finance the exploration and development of such fields without having to rely primarily on GoG for funding.
“To that extent, GNPC has already identified some major potential acquisition targets of offshore blocks and has entered into discussions with the shareholders with an aim to acquiring a controlling equity stake and eventually becoming the operator through Explorco. We shall always come back to the House with any agreements once concluded.”
Appreciation to Organised Labour
“Let me use this opportunity to thank Organised Labour and Employers for their role in concluding wage negotiation with Government in May. The negotiations were marked by a shared understanding of the state of the economy, that we cannot share what we do not have; a collective will to improve productivity, raise more revenue and ensure decent wages in the years to come,” he stressed.