The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a scholarship scheme to support 200 young brilliant Ghanaian entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses.
The scholarship dubbed "Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp Scholarships for Youth" and offered in collaboration with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is aimed at supporting the youth, to realise their entrepreneurial dreams and elevate their careers.
The UNDP Regional Director of Africa, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, announced the scholarship scheme, at an interactive dialogue with Youth Groups and selected Senior High Schools, in Accra, on the theme: "Digital Economy and the AfCFTA."
She said UNDP had partnered the Thunderbird School of Global Management to strengthen the capabilities and networks of the youth so that the youth and women-led small businesses could recover from the coronavirus disease and compete well in the single African market.
According to Ms Eziakonwa, African youths were the future of the continent and the more investment targeted at their youth programmes, the better to improve on their potentials for sustainable growth.
"Digital tools and platforms were keys to facilitating trade across borders. In order to reap the full benefits of the AfCFTA, Africa must change its ways of doing business and promoting the digital transformation of the continent," she said.
Ms Eziakonwa said "Africa has huge volumes of natural resources that are yet to be harnessed for the development of the continent."
She said that the AfCFTA was a vehicle for Africa to add value to their natural resources and improve the quality of goods and services through regional value chains.
"This is why UNDP's new strategic plan considers digitalisation, strategic innovation, and development financing as enablers for transforming the way our economies work for people so that no one is left behind,"Ms Eziakonwa noted.
She expressed UNDP's commitment to support African countries to harness the potential of digital technologies and innovations towards Africa's development.
"The future is digital and Africa's future is led by the youth," Ms Eziakonwa said.
The Senior Director for Africa at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Mr Philip Thigo, said the scholarship would identify and incorporate the skills and traits of successful entrepreneurs and their enterprises.
"It will also learn to leverage the holistic global entrepreneurship ecosystem and related drivers, gain knowledge and skills from case examples spanning multiple countries to adopt success practices," he said.
Mr Thigo urged the youth to apply for the scholarship to either nurture or improve on their innovative ideas and skills.