The Managing Director of United Bank of Africa (UBA) Ghana, Chris Ofikulu, has pledged the bank’s support for the new youth development programme ‘YouthStart’ which is expected to commerce this year.
Mr Ofikulu made the pledge when he paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dakwa Akufo-Addo at the Presidency on Thursday.
The government in its 2022 budget announced GHC1 billion to support young entrepreneurs in the country to enable them to create new businesses as well as expand existing ones.
Under the ‘YouthStart’ programme, the government is expected to provide financial and technical support to young entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable businesses and create jobs for the youth.
The MD, who took office in February this year, said the bank which currently employs about 768 staff, mostly Ghanaians, had supported the government and businesses in the country since its establishment in 2004.
President Akufo-Addo on his part commended UBA’s decision to support the implementation of the YouthStart and urged other private enterprises to partner with the government to equip the youth with entrepreneurship skills to create globally competitive businesses.
He said the government would continue to initiate favourable investment policies, as well as create a business-friendly environment to engender growth and the expansion of indigenous and foreign businesses.
As a firm and a staunch believer of the ideals and concepts of the ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo said his government would continue to support business intercourse among the West African States.
“Nigerian businesses in Ghana and vice-versa is the surest way to develop the regional bloc,” the President stated.
He said symbiotic relations between Ghana and Nigeria which dates back to pre-independence, meant that both countries and governments needed to support each other in the drive towards economic emancipation.
He pledged that the government would deal fairly with any challenges, regulatory or initiatives, that Nigerian businesses, including other foreign enterprises, were confronted with.
UBA, which was established in 2004 in Ghana, currently supports the three best students in the annual easy competition with an amount of USD10,000 for their tertiary education.
The Bank also supports many government agencies including the Ministry of Energy in its rural electrification programme.