The Ministry of Business Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development and the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS) have on Monday 31st August 2020 launched the Zongo Business Initiative in the Northern Region.
The Zongo Business Initiative is aimed at realizing Government’s ambition of helping to unleash an entrepreneurial revolution among members of Zongo communities in the country. It is on the theme, “Empowering Zongo Youth for Inclusive Growth.”
The initiative is also in line with the government’s vision of assisting young entrepreneurs in the Zongo communities to incubate their business ideas and improve livelihoods. The program by the current administration is to curb the high unemployment rate in the country by supporting young entrepreneurs with funding to boost their businesses for job creation.
Speaking at a brief ceremony in Tamale, the Minister for Business Development, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal disclosed that Zongo communities in the past years had contributed a lot for Ghana’s success and development.
According to him, the implementation of this initiative was aimed at recognizing the people of Zongo communities for their contribution towards Ghana’s development. He said, government through the Ministry of Business Development has taken the steps to build the capacity of Zongo Men and Women to own businesses and create more jobs in the country.
“Our Zongos in the past and even up to date has contributed a lot to Ghana’s development. Our Zongos are traders, they are technocrats, they are artisans, they are everything. It is time that we recognize the people of Zongos for their contribution to Ghana’s success development” he stated.
He said government through his Ministry had set aside GH₵10 million to support the Zongo Business Initiative in the five Regions of the North. He therefore encouraged the youth in the Zongo communities to take full advantage of the initiative.
Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal disclosed that government intends to build about hundred strong businesses in the country and “thirty of these businesses must belong to Zongo communities in the country.”
He said the president’s main aim is to move people from small businesses to big businesses that can create jobs for many youth in the country and encouraged young people to be business owners and not job seekers.
“I want to urge our Zongo Youth and elders to please take business very seriously, go through the training the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP) will give you, submit your business plans by October and November. We will select the very good ones and we are going to support those businesses with GH₵10 million. This is what the president is doing to build Zongo Businesses and I know you will not fail because our Zongos have very intelligent people and they are smart and they are a lot of opportunities. I want to challenge you in November and December and want to see that 200 of you will get the GH₵10 million to scale up your business, he indicated.
He revealed that about 250,000 young people graduated from various universities every year and only 2% of this number had opportunity to get employment into the formal sector in the country, hence president Nana Akuffo Addo setting up the Ministry of Business Development as an important element to create jobs for the teaming youth in the country.
Addressing the participants, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, assured them that his Ministry will bounce back with full initiatives after the decline of COVID-19 in the country.
Story By: Yakubu Alhassan