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Government should engage young people when drafting youth policies

Accra, – Mr Yakubu Lantam Abdul-Jabar, Co-Founder and Project Manager of COLDSiS Ghana Limited, an Information Technology (IT) Company, has urged Government to engage young people, especially those at the grassroots when drafting national youth policies.

He said such engagements would inform Government of the dire needs of the youth and help in making tailor-made programmes to address those needs.

Mr Abdul-Jabar made these comments during the Accra North Startup Summit organized by the Accra North section of Ghana Tech Lab (GTL).

The event themed, “Digital Media for Business and Job Creation in this Era,” was put together to enhance youth entrepreneurial skills in digital media.

The Accra North Startup Summit culminates the Ghana Tech Lab Base Innovation Programme in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, World Bank and Ghana’s Ministry of Communications.

The Base Innovation Program aims to enhance startup development and youth employability through curated digital skills training, incubation, and employability programs.

Mr Abdul-Jabar said most Ghanaian youth remained unemployed because of their unwillingness to create jobs for themselves.

“Unfortunately, our youth have the mentality that they are entitled to be employed by someone else instead of creating employment for themselves and other youth,” he said.

He said Government’s role was to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and not solely responsible for job creation.

The Co-founder said the future of every youth was in his or her own hands, thus, they should endeavor to be critical thinkers and carve out a road map for their own future.

He advised them to be daring, always dream big and not give up in the face of difficulties.

Mr Prince Sarfo, Storytelling Associate of GTL, said in May, a Digital Media skills training programme was organised for young unemployed people with entrepreneurial spirits and mindsets.

He said the six weeks training programme equipped participants with digital media skills in photography, digital marketing, graphic design, sound design, videography, creative writing and blogging.

Mr Sarfo said as a result, five startups namely; Electronic Media Company, Higher Height Media Empire, Lamps Media, PHYMICMultimedia and Teliosis Media, were birthed out of the training.

“At Ghana Tech Lab, we are not only poised to equip the youths of Ghana with relevant digital skills sets that enhance their employability but also to inspire them through both our experienced facilitators and different programmes to create feasible solutions to problems in our society.”

“This, we have done in the past years and have resulted in jobs for these youths and also startups that are gradually accelerating into full-fledged businesses,” he said.

At the event, all five startups were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to experienced industry leaders poised as judges.

Teliosis Media emerged the winner with Lamps Media and Phymic Multimedia earning the first and second runner up positions, respectively.

Mr Sarfo said the first two startups would be selected for incubation under the Base innovation Programme.

He said the primary objective of the incubation stage was to make the startups eligible to meet investor requirements and make their products feasible and market-ready.

“Participants who placed third, fourth and fifth would have the opportunity to join our employability program where they get to intern for organizations with the skills they have acquired. These are organizations we have engaged under our employability program,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency