The National Youth Wing of Young Men’s Christian Association of Ghana (Ghana YMCA) has held a workshop on financial security to educate young people on how to manage their income in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic. The workshop which was facilitated by esteemed banker and Head of Research at the Agricultural Development Bank, Mr Matthew Beila Yankey, was part of activities to mark the 17th Annual Youth Conference of the Ghana YMCA (#NYC2020).
The virtual workshop educated young people on the need to generate multiple streams of income, how to monetise one’s hobbies/interests, planning for income received, setting financial goals, and building personal discipline to achieve personal financial goals. The two-hour encounter engaged over seventy young people who had the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarifications.
National Youth President of the Ghana YMCA, George Dela Coffie explained that young people urgently needed education on financial security to enable them cope with the hardships caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus. He observed that projections by the Financial Ministry and other think tanks predict a slow recovery from the economic impact hence the workshop was necessary to educate young people on how to manage their resources.
“I think this training was very timely. All the indicators show that we are in for a difficult time ahead. Companies are not employing as much as they used to. Many employees are on reduced salaries. This training was therefore important for educating young people on how to manage their income especially about how to build a culture of saving notwithstanding how much they earn. It is my sincere hope that the lessons shared here will make life easier for the young people who joined us. In the next few months, we shall keep organising events such as this to provide young people with all the knowledge they need to be able to cope during this difficult time,” George Dela Coffie said.
In March 2020, the Minister of Finance for Ghana, Ken Ofori-Atta predicted that Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth would slow down from 6.8% to 2.6% following the COVID19 outbreak. However, this rate was further reduced later to 0.9% in July 2020 during the mid-year budget review to Parliament. According to the WorldBank’s 21st volume of Africa’s Pulse, the pandemic will cause Africa’s first recession in over two decades with growth rates expected to fall from 2.4% in 2019 to between -2.1% and -5.1%. These grim indicators call for preparation of young people on how to deal with the impending economic challenges which will require long-term solutions.
Since the publication of the downward projections, the Ghana YMCA has been engaging young people on financial security and entrepreneurship to build their resilience against the hardships. In May and June, our Youth Livelihood Series reached over 84, 000 young people through social media and engaged almost 1,500 young people across Africa in a five-part series which comprehensively educated young people on managing income, increasing employable skills, starting a business and investing safely.
The Ghana YMCA will continue to support young people during this difficult time and urges everyone to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols.