The Senior Vice President and Policy Analyst of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil has questioned the government's continued investment in entrepreneurship programs. According to him, there have not been commensurate gains with these initiatives since their implementation.
Mr Bentil argued that millions of taxpayers monies have been wasted on unproductive entrepreneurship programs over the past decade. He explained that for the past fifteen (15) years, these programs have failed to produce a result, a reason the government must be mindful of any future investment towards entrepreneurship.
He concluded that it's unthinkable to justify the wastages and thievery that has riddled past initiatives to demand further support for it.
"In the past 15 years, we’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on entrepreneurship programs. None have yielded good results. The money has been stolen and wasted! Why on earth do we want to continue this tax-funded waste!!"
Truth be told, there has been duplication of programs and agencies of government facilitating the development of entrepreneurs. From former President Kuffour's administration where the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP) to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's government, about a dozen initiatives have been introduced.
Currently, the government is proposing a YouStart Program which anticipates creating over a million jobs within three years. This was contained in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy and was to rely heavily on the Development Bank of Ghana as the funding organisation.
But there are some critics such as Kofi Bentil who think this initiative must be interrogated. The other troubling issue as articulated by the Minority is the issue of how the government will raise the funding for it.
With the budget now thrown overboard, there are more questions raised on what will become of the growing unemployed graduate rate. The initial proposal of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which the youth entrepreneurship program hinged on has been heavily contested.
It is pretty confusing what could be the alternative funding scheme for this YouStart Initiative and many others in the area of entrepreneurship, as Parliament awaits the resubmission of the revised budget from the Ministry of Finance.
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