The Economic Fighters League in collaboration with InnoMedia USA has held the first edition of its Financial Freedom Series as part of efforts to empower youth on financial literacy in Accra.
The pilot program which took place at Nima-Mamobi Community Library on Saturday, February 15, 2020, was aimed at providing the youth with practical entrepreneurial skills and means to generate ideas to become financially independent.
Research by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research revealed that only 10% of graduates find jobs after their first year out of school and a large section will remain unemployed for up to 10 years.
Others have cautioned that the rampant youth unemployment is a national security issue.
Even though the country has had high economic growth over the last decade, this has not translated into jobs, as noted by the African Center for Economic Transformation.
This, Hardi Yakubu, Fighter-General of the Economic Fighters League, believes is the result of the lack of ownership and control of the country’s resources.
He says the Financial Freedom Series was part of the mandate of the Enterprise Command of the League with the objective of helping the youth to improve their livelihoods while fighting to change the status quo.
Participants were taken through networking sessions, business idea generation methods and skills training such as fundamentals of graphic and web designing. Resource persons shared ideas and exposed some easily overlooked opportunities in cocoa and shea butter processing industries, amongst others. Videos were also shown to demonstrate how easy these opportunities could be taken advantage of.
Mr Chris Kwashie, a human development expert and resource person at the program, broadly spoke about ‘The Power of Mentoring. He mentioned discipline, sense of responsibility, endurance and going the extra mile as critical attitudes a mentee should possess for effective mentoring.
He encouraged the youth to prepare for opportunities rather than simply wait for opportunities. “If you refuse to take responsibility, you will become a liability”, Mr Kwashie added.
Speaking on why mentorship was a game-changer, he noted that the leader’s greatest responsibility was mentoring and that the quality of mentees is a reflection of the leadership of the mentor. Secured and matured leaders always want their followers and mentees to be well resourced and better equipped than them, Mr Kwashie added. He advised the youth not to look for fame or money and encouraged them to desire what is in the heart of the mentor rather than what is in “his hands”.
Recounting how he was able to break through poverty cycles, personal development practitioner, Chief Addysam, said: “when a purpose of something is not known abuse is inevitable”. He said every adult must be responsible for their lives and not to imitate anyone for “imitation is a limitation”. “It is only children who are at liberty to say I don’t have money, not adults. And what I fear in life is not death but poverty”. “Failure is not falling down. Staying broke is temporary, however, to claim poverty is your mindset”, he added.
Mr Addysam challenged the youth to have documented upright goals with realistic timelines, as that makes it visible and easier to achieve. He cautioned young entrepreneurs not to channel proceeds, and resources from their businesses into pleasing anyone and encouraged them to be mentally tough so that they could invest what they had today for a better future.
On his part, Mr Michael Essien, CEO of InnoMedia USA, who is also a member of the Economic Fighters League advised the youth to consider continuous planning and budgeting as those are instrumental to executing any business idea.
“If you get business capital today, what are you going to do as your very next steps? Any smart business person will most likely plan carefully before they start spending the money to build the business; so why not plan while we don’t have the capital, budget for it, think about things you would like to buy, so that when the money comes you will already be equipped to start working?”, he asked.
Mr Essien, a web developer, disclosed institutional readiness to assist and host online any participants who will be interested in web-based businesses such as events advertising portal, social media platform/management, E-commerce, general web designing and digital audio recording. He further gingered the youth to come up with workable business ideas, submit proposals and demonstrate beyond the program, as he will work with other interested parties abroad to secure support for the best ideas.
In the practical session, Mr Abraham Kwashie, a web and graphic designer took the participants through hands-on training on the web and graphic design.
The organisers promised to follow up with participants and make resources available.
Source: Richard Mensah Adonu