General News of 2014-08-14

Mahama's YES initiative will be a failure, lecturer predicts

An entrepreneurship expert and lecturer at the University of Ghana has doubted the ability of government’s Youth Enterprise Support fund to fulfil the objectives for which it was set up.
Dr Samuel Buame said the fund, which is aimed at assisting young entrepreneurs with capital to run their businesses, is not likely to succeed because similar and more structured initiatives had hit a snag in the past.
“The question is if GYEEDA [Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Development Agency] couldn’t work, what is the guarantee that this one [YES] will work? Because GYEEDA was...a bigger programme”, he said.
He described as “pea nut” the GH?10 million set aside for the fund. Government scraped the GYEEDA initiative last year after investigations unearthed inappropriate dealings at the authority.
Government subsequently announced the initiative was going to be restructured to make it more effective. That has since not happened.
The GYEEDA initiative, with its varied modules, was set up to lessen the economic pressure on the unemployed youth in Ghana.
“For a programme like YES to work, it must have a national entrepreneurial policy...I can give you the instance of Malaysia. Malaysia has one and it is working for them. The question is why can’t we learn from Malaysia?”, Dr Buame asked.
He said the current YES programme as it stands is only “firefighting”.
According to him, although the initiative seems like “government’s sincere effort in promoting youth entrepreneurship”, the fundamentals were not right.
However, National co-ordinator of the YES programme, Kojo Adu-Asare told Joy News’ Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah the scheme will be successful despite Dr Buame’s concerns.
“I think Ghanaians should be positive-minded. Let’s not always look at the negative side of issues. I believe that we’ve made mistakes before and we are prepared to correct those mistakes and move forward”, said Kojo Adu-Asare.
He said unlike Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) initiative, the mandate of YES would be to commit funds directly for startups.
“I don’t think MASLOC has that mandate to give funds to startup companies”, the YES coordinator noted.
President John Mahama on Tuesday launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Fund as part of activities to mark the International Youth Day.
The fund, according to government, is open to anybody who has a good business proposal that can yield dividends and repay the loans.
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