One thousand Ghanaian students will have the opportunity to work and study legally following the launch of the SOS-Nekotech USA-Canada Master's Degree Work-Study Program on Monday.

The Board of Governors of SOS Labour, represented by Dr Asie K. Ocansey has offered 1,000 students aged between 21 to 40 - 80% Prep school partial scholarships valued at $2,000,000.00.

Each student will receive a scholarship voucher worth $2,001.00. The full prep school fee is $2500, which means candidates only pay $499 for a limited time - April 18, 2023.

In addition, qualifying students in the USA or Canada could qualify to receive up to $100,000 each,  as a no-collateral loan for tuition, books and accommodation.

Upon completion of their two years Master's degree in STEM, STEM MBA, Sports, Multimedia and  Healthcare industries, candidates will be eligible to work for one to three years in the USA, earning $60,000-$150,000/year.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the programme, Dr Ocansey, who is also a Principal Consultant for Migration to the Government of Sierra Leone, noted, “This pilot program, which has Ghanaian youth in the USA already, has been running successfully since 2018.

"We are scaling it up to change the narrative for more youth, Ghanaians as well as our 10 participating African countries to meet the AU Agenda 2063 and the SDG's 2030 #8."

She called for an all-hands-on-deck approach noting that, “The youth are our most precious gems, we must provide them with opportunities that will benefit them and our African nations."

 Mrs Gifty Annan, Country Manager of SOS Labour Ghana shared testimonies of students from other African countries - Malawi and Sierra Leone-  who are also already in the USA enjoying this programme.

She indicated that this will lead to increased remittances and independence from relying on external agencies and creating our own financial institutions with the wealth generated.

In addition to the 1,000 students who will receive $2,000.00, forty "bright but needy" youths will receive the full $2,500.00 scholarship per person.

In her opening remarks, the co-chairperson for the event, Mrs Victoria Hajar, second Vice President of Ghana Employers' Association and first Vice President of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ghana said, “There is hope for Africa if our youths are trained in the necessary competencies and skills and with the right mindset.”

The Vice President of Liberia, Dr Chief Jewel Howard Taylor described the launch as an “exciting process of transforming Africa.”

She indicated that she will establish a cross-ministerial arrangement with the Ministries of Education and Labour in Liberia to ensure that as many Liberian youths as possible can take advantage of the programme.

The Liberian Vice President called for an arrangement where students who benefit from this facility would sign a bond undertaking to return to their respective African countries to prevent a situation where a brain drain would result from this initiative. Chief Jewel Taylor added that “We can develop plans to transform Africa into what we want it to be.”

The Senior Pastor of the New Birth Cathedral, Atlanta, U.S.A, Rev. Dr Jamal Bryant a.k.a. HRM Nene Kabutey Kubi Ocansey, who was the Special Guest gave the assurance that his organisations in the USA will provide reception facilities and settlement services for the students who travel to the U.S to create a family environment for them to make them feel relaxed during the period of their study.

The Associate Director for North America and UK Recruitment for SOS-Labour's USA Partner-Educo, Tyson Mannering, briefed participants on the various services they provide to make sure that participants in the programme have a hassle-free stay in the United States or Canada.

He indicated that with the pending World Cup FIFA2026 to be held in America, Canada, and Mexico-one of the courses for the Master's programme in addition to the STEM courses is the Master's courses in various areas of Sports Management to prepare them to take advantage of the many job opportunities in the $160 billion sports industry the World Cup would present.

Other speakers at the launch included the Director of Corporate Affairs, National Service Scheme, Frederick Dodou of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Eric Asare, Gen. Secretary of the Ghana Union of Professional Students and Ms Barbara Banda, a member of the African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee and Country Director for SOS Women Transfer2Transform in Malawi, who have successfully sent students to the USA through this programme.

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