The Rebecca Foundation in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and MasterCard Foundation has launched ‘Young Africa Works’ Project.

This aims to increase opportunities for the youth by creating fulfilling and dignified jobs.

The initiative which kick started on Wednesday will over a three-year period, create 39,000 jobs, 70 per cent of which will be women.

Its targets are graduate youth, out of school youth, school dropouts, and women-owned led micro, small and medium enterprises.

Delivering a speech at its launch, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo said despite initiatives by government to tackle youth unemployment, the menace persists hovering around 69 percent by end of 2019, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

This, according to her, is unacceptable, hence the need for strategic measures and policies that take into consideration youth development and integration.

Mrs Akufo-Addo further noted that youth unemployment has the potential to create serious social consequences and can lead to social exclusion and unrest.

She then called on the private sector and other bodies to partner government to support youth employment and entrepreneurship.

She also urged traditional, religious and community leaders to rally behind the NBSSI/Mastercard Foundation initiative, to enable the youth step into the new future, where their individual and collective contribution will transform Ghana.

The Executive Director of the NBSSI Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, on her part, was optimistic the partnership would solve one of the country’s challenges which is unemployment.

“This partnership and funding is to support women and the youth and over 80 to 90 per cent of it will go into funding and supporting the programme.

“Many a time, most programmes just support the administrative purposes, but in this case, there is an intentional purpose to ensure that all the funds will go into supporting and helping the youth of this country to do better,” she said.

Speaking to JoyNews a beneficiary of the project, Benedicta Nuwani said getting involved in the project has enabled her to fulfil her dreams.

“What I will do now is to have my own designing firm and when it grows I will help other young ones whose dreams are to become fashion designer,” she said.