Yesterda, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo awarded cash prizes ranging from GH¢25,000 to GH¢100,000 to ten young men and women who emerged winners of the second edition of the Presidential Pitch project.
The money is to serve as a grant to enable these young entrepreneurs set up their own businesses.
The Chronicle would, first of all, congratulate the ten lucky winners for sailing through and being on top of such a fierce contest, which saw about five hundred applicants.
The Chronicle also extends its warmest gratitude to the government and, especially the Business Development Ministry, for putting together such an initiative.
The Presidential Pitch is a project designed and organised by the Ministry of Business Development to offer young Ghanaian entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35, the opportunity to market their business ideas and get financial assistance to implement them. The project is in line with the President’s vision to assist young entrepreneurs to nurture their business ideas and improve their livelihoods.
The Chronicle is commending the government because it sees the initiative as an affirmation of the President’s promise to create jobs for the youth, since it emerged that winners of the maiden edition were able to produce some 207 jobs.
We at The Chronicle believe that this is a remarkable achievement, because, if 207 jobs are to be established every year, the seemingly youth unemployment the country is battling with would be minimised.
During the presentation of the awards, the President told the winners that “207 jobs should be the minimum number of jobs the 2019 pitch winners should create. Every generation should advance on the previous. I am expecting that this year-round, you will do even better. We are expecting a lot from you. Not just next year, but in the years down the road.”
The Chronicle finds this call very appropriate and would join the government to encourage our winners to create more jobs for the years ahead of them.
This year’s ceremony also saw two young ladies, namely Emily Otoo-Quaryson and Matilda Sampong, emerge the overall winners with their innovative idea of using banana fibre to produce sanitary pads. Last year’s contest was also won by 19-year-old Vanessa Aisha Limann, a graduate of Methodist Girls’ High School.
This is very refreshing, because though the world keeps developing, girl child education in Africa still remains underdeveloped.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) reports that millions of children in West and Central Africa are still denied access to education. The report indicated that the region accounts for one-third of the global total of primary school age children, and one-fifth of lower secondary age children who are out of school.
It says the region also lags behind in gender equality in education, stating that for every ten boys enrolled in primary school, there are only few girls, and the difference gets bigger as children progress through the school system.
If despite all these setbacks, young women in Ghana are making it to tertiary institutions and are competing and beating the opposite sex in such contests, then they must be celebrated.
On the specific project that won them the award, The Chronicle would like to encourage the young women to raise the flag of Ghana high by going international with it, because menstrual hygiene is a problem many young ladies are battling with.
Menstrual cramp has been identified as a factor leading to young ladies dropping out from school. The rise in the dropout rate has forced young ladies in the philanthropic business to raise awareness about the need for girls to feel safe while in school, and have even called on the government to distribute pads to schools for free.
Finally, The Chronicle calls on private individuals, philanthropists and other entities to support the government to execute such a worthy cause to ensure that more young men and women come out of school with the mindset of creating their own jobs, and not wait for others to employ them.