The Africa Skills Hub, a youth employment organisation and business incubator in Ghana will partner with Canada World Youth or Jeunesse Canada Monde (CWY-JCM) to implement the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Initiative (WELI) on the continent, the two organisations have announced.
They said when they announced the initiative on Monday that it will be supported by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
The project addresses challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic through an innovative youth-centred and gender-responsive economic empowerment approach.
“Covid-19 has threatened the survival of many women businesses. There is still much hope in building back better. There is recovery ahead and whilst Covid may have disrupted so many things it has however also provided enormous alternative opportunities to diversify and do gender responsive programming in a new way” says Executive Director at Africa Skills Hub Daniel Antwi.
Africa Skills Hub has officially begun various activities in Ghana and Senegal. In Ghana, the project is in two periurban councils in Sagnarigu district, Northern region and in a rural setting in Afadzato South in Volta region, but will also have various nationwide and local advocacy outreach. In Senegal, the WELI project will focus its work in Thies Region.
The project directly reflects CWY-JCM’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals number 5 on gender equality and empowerment and Sustainable Development Goals number 8 on decent work and economic growth.
The project plans to use innovative strategies to tackle topics such as gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence.
Additionally, the organisations will expedite training and learning to improve the productive capacities of adolescent girls and young women and position them to contribute to rebuilding and strengthening the economy since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Over the years, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have played a critical role in Africa’s socio-economic development by producing critical goods and services, creating jobs, helping to reduce poverty, and promoting economic growth.
The MSME sector has also provided women and youth opportunities to harness their economic potential. It is estimated by the World Bank that about one third of all MSMEs in Africa are owned by women.
The overall outcome of WELI is to increase economic empowerment to strengthen resilience for adolescent girls and young women most affected by Covid-19 in targeted areas in Ghana and Senegal.
- A Tell report