AFRILINK Entrepreneurs is registered in Ghana as a limited liability company that does non-profit work. AFRILINK fights poverty by building the capacity of youth to create businesses that will produce employment for populations especially, at the bottom of the pyramid.
Program: The organization will work with 40 young entrepreneurs through Business Venture Incubator at the costs of $250,000. The young people will be provided with business expertise, mentoring and access to finance/investors.
Ghana Board of Directors
Yaw Gyamfi Boateng, Chairperson
Florence Hutchful, Secretary
Herbert Morrison, Treasurer
Ghana Founder Members
Yaw Gyamfi Boateng
GHANA is located in West Africa, with its coast on the Gulf of Guinea and its borders shared with Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Burkina Faso. Ghana is blessed with abundant natural resources, vast cultural and ethnic diversity, and an exceptional history. It was the first Sub-Saharan African country targeted by Europeans for gold and the slave trade, and was also the first to become independent from colonial power.
Country Overview: Politics & Economy
With a population of 23.9 million, Ghana today is a model of political stability for the region of West Africa. It has a democratic government with a multi-party system, a reputation for peacekeeping in the region, a reasonable education system, and a good civil service. About 65% of the population is literate and the life expectancy average is 57 years. The religious demographics of the country are 68% Christian, 16% Muslim, and 8.5% traditional African religions.
The largest sector of the domestic economy is agriculture, which employs over half of the labor force, mostly as small landowners. The government is working to transform and improve the agriculture sector. Ghana is currently the world’s second largest producer of cocoa. Another leading industry in Ghana is mining, with gold as one of the major exports. The 2009 estimate of GDP was $35.83 billion and the GDP per capita was $1,500.
Despite its natural resources and cultural wealth, Ghana is still heavily dependent on international assistance. Recent estimates put the poverty level at 29% of Ghana’s total population. The millions of Ghanaians living below the poverty line are trapped by their limited income and opportunities. The global financial crisis of 2009 substantially slowed Ghana’s economy and made the country even more vulnerable. The job market was devastated and the GDP rate of growth fell from 7% to 4.7% in 2009. Ghana’s stock market went from being ranked as the world’s best performing, to the worst.
But Ghana has much to hope for in the future – in November 2010 Ghana will begin producing oil from its 1.6 billion barrels of oil reserves. The oil industry is expected to dramatically boost the economy, as the revenue projections range between $800 million to $1 billion. Experts expect the oil production to increase GDP growth from 4.7% to 6.3% within the first year.
Ghana has also been making remarkable strides in recent years in poverty reduction, and could be the first African country to achieve the UN Millennium Goal of halving its poverty by 2015. There also has been success in reducing the infant mortality rate and HIV/AIDS prevalence. But while the economy is expected to slowly recover in the next couple of years, there are still great concerns about the massive unemployment, especially among youth.
Youth Unemployment in Ghana
Large numbers of college-educated young people are prevented from successful employment due to limited access to markets and information, practical business education, venture capital and technological knowledge. This is a problem across the African continent – as the World Bank estimates that 200 million African youth face extremely limited employment opportunities and account for 60% of total unemployment.
Ghana is in danger of losing this generation to disenfranchisement and poverty. Even before the global financial crisis the Ghana Living Standards Survey found in 2006 that 69% of youths aged 15-24 years were unemployed. This lack of opportunity can lead to extreme economic hardships, as well as a greater risk of crime, drug trafficking, prostitution, and other harmful activities. Job creation for the youth is essential to Ghana’s future.
Ghana’s government is working to address this serious problem with its youth. In August 2010 the administration launched the National Youth Policy, an initiative aimed to foster youth empowerment. The official goal of the Youth Policy is “an empowered youth, impacting positively on national development.” The policy outlines the government’s plans to increase the capacity and self-reliance of the youth, through education programs, increased access to skills training, and better employment opportunities. The National Youth Policy can be viewed in PDF format here: http://ghana.gov.gh/documents/nypolicy.pdf