One of the most pressing concerns that most governments have been faced with in times gone by and is still prevalent is the challenge of unemployment especially within youth, Ghana not excluded.

There have been numerous interventions by various governments some of which have worked, others have worked partially whilst others have been total flops, yet, there is always an ongoing programme to arrest the unemployment situation at every given time.

The Master Card Foundation, supported by global money fund transfer platform, Master Card, that serves as an intermediary between small, medium and large scale businesses and individuals and advances financial inclusion to all it’s clients, is partnering the Ghana Government through its Ghana Enterprises Authority (GEA) to provide employment to some 250, 000 young men and women between the ages of 15 and 35 years old in the country for the next four years, 70 percent of whom will be females and ten percent, People living With Disabilities (PWDs).


The programme, dubbed Business in a Box (BizBox) was launched here in the Jirapa Municipality by the head of the Business Advisory Center (BAC), Mohammed Awal Abubakari where he introduced and explained the BizBox concept to over 170 participants although the BAC had initially planed to engage 100 participants.

Mr. Abubakari said the very basic requirements for the the programme is foremost, be a Ghanaian, hold a Ghana Identity Card, be between the ages of 15 and 35 years old have a valid and active telephone number and be willing to undergo an apprenticeship programme.

He said the programme will run five instruction areas over the period made up of youth skills development, access to market, with 50, 000 women entrepreneurs accessing market opportunities across the country, access to start-up kits (125, 000 in number), youth social networking and empowering PWDs, associations and networks and finally strengthening institutions in policy and regulations to enforce Local Economic Development such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSS).

Throwing more light on the form BizBox would take, Rahman Mozmin, Deputy Regional Manager of the GEA, Upper West Region, he said there were four components to the programme of which the first (A2E), is set on transforming the Apprentice to an Entrepreneur so as to commence trade.

The second second he said had to do with MSME Business Acceleration (MBA), where beneficiaries will access market, institutional services, social networking, sustainability, among others.

Mr. Mozmin introduced the agriculture component Agriculture to Agribusiness to Entrepreneuralship (AA2E) where beneficiaries will be given start-up kits in their chosen area of agriculture training where emphasis is being put on value addition on agriculture products.

He finally explained that Skilled Crafts Persons (SCPs) will be engaged to train apprentices and must own or manage PWD accessible workshops, have the requisite training tools and must be able to train at least three apprentices at a go.

Mr. Mozmin lamented that basic challenges faced with the programme are issues with the Ghana Identity Card, inconsistent provision of correct dates of birth and unreliable telephone numbers saying that the GEA runs other programmes that participants can take advantage of.

An Assistant Director of the Jirapa Municipal Assembly who represented the Municipal Chief Executive, Kpiele Thomas Kofi, commended the organizers and participants of the programme and underscored its importance in improving the employment status of the youth in the municipality especially that youth unemployment for the year 2022 ,in the country stood at 7.14 percent comprising of youth without work but are available for and are seeking employment.

Mr. Kpiele posed three questions from the Municipal Chief Executive namely; how the intervention will attract a large market share, the specific number of beneficiaries and if there was support for e-shops.

Some of the participants spoken to were very excited about the programme and are ready to follow it to its finality.

Others affirmed that they had participated in similar programmes by the GEA which has benefited them and will seize this opportunity.


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