Youth development NGO, Coalition for Positive Impact call on Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament

Youth development NGO, Coalition for Positive Impact call on Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament

Youth development NGO, Coalition for Positive Impact call on Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., a delegation of the Board of Directors for Coalition for Positive Impact (CPI), led by the Executive Director, Mr. Maazu Dramani Bayuoni paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

Among other things, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the role of youth in National Development and to discover ways in which CPI can form a synergy with the Office of the Speaker to transform Ghana’s demographic asset into an economic dividend.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Maazu Bayuoni explained the mission of CPI to the Speaker’s delegation and tied it into the interest of the Speaker in youth activities while recounting the numerous roles that the Speaker had played in strengthening youth empowerment and development.

He also acknowledged that one of the ways through which today’s youth can be effectively developed is through imbibing in them the value of integrity, which happens to be a core value of CPI. He thanked the Speaker for affording the delegation a warm reception and requested for support for CPI to contribute to the achievement of national youth development goals.

Mr. Gayheart Mensah, Communications Expert at the Office of the Speaker in contributing to the discussion, emphasized the need for CPI to stay abreast of emerging trends in youth development, notable among which are technology, artificial intelligence and the future of work for today’s youth. He further commended CPI for the good work it is doing in developing talents of youths.
The Rt. Hon Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, expressed great delight in the work of CPI and urged the Organization to work harder and to continue the good work it is doing for the youth of Ghana.

He drew a distinction between youth empowerment and youth development, noting that people often confuse both terms unknowingly. He then stressed on the need to teach the youth to be responsible and lead their lives according to the highest principles of integrity. Rt. Hon Speaker applauded the delegation for taking the initiative to mentor and train the youth of the country and pledged the support of His Office to help the Organization to achieve its goals.

The CPI delegation was made up of Mr. Maazu Dramani Bayuoni (Executive Director), Miss Naziha Amin Gombilla (Executive Secretary), Mr. Edem Baeta (Board Director) and Mr. Frank Anwelle (Board Director).

Youth call for equal employment opportunities without prejudice to age

Youth call for equal employment opportunities without prejudice to age

Youth call for equal employment opportunities without prejudice to age

The 2022 International Youth Day (IYD) has been commemorated with a call on government and stakeholders to create laws and policies that ensure equal access to job opportunities for youth without prejudice to age.

This was contained in a joint communique issued by concerned youth groups and networks in the Upper West Region on the occasion of the IYD celebration in Wa on Friday August 12, 2022 on the theme: “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”.

The commemoration was a partnership between Coalition for Positive Impact (CPI) and Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD Ghana), a member of the “She Leads” consortium, under the auspices of the National Youth Authority (NYA).

The communique read by Miss Ernestina Biney, the Project Coordinator for the “She Leads” project with the Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD Ghana), said there was the need for relevant policies to be designed consciously to support the growth and development of young people through intergenerational solidarity.

“On this special occasion, we call on all stakeholders to reflect and act on … urgently create and enforce policies and laws that ensure equal employment opportunities for all potential people regardless of age and gender,” the statement read.

It also called for a review of highly-placed luxury and better repositioning of the country by scaling up level of patriotism among all people for national development.

“We have a great role to play in making this country a better ecosystem for everyone to thrive well,” the statement urged as a way to “avoid the unnecessary migration through the desert into Europe” largely by young people.

The communique further called for a clearly mapped out developmental agenda for the youth of the Upper West Region to outlive the intergenerational solidarity and create a world for all ages.

It however observed that immorality among the youth was a barrier to achieving age solidarity as it sates, “morality among the youth in our region has been questioned lately by the older generation due to the growing incidence of nude leaks within the municipality and beyond.”

“We call on the youth to desist from creating and promoting such content online to avoid contravention with both the constitution and our customary laws.

“We further call on all youth groups and networks to join forces in our quest to tell a better story with zero tolerance for online obscenity (nude videos and pictures) in the municipality,” the communique solicited.

Mr Maazu Bayuoni, the Executive Director for Coalition for Positive Impact (CPI), challenged the society to embrace a new partnership between the older and younger generations to end the cascading effects of ageism.

He believed that a partnership between the two generations would bridge the gaps of political participation, work opportunities and other inequalities committed against the youth, women and girls and the differently-abled.

He said this could be achieved through the development of mentor-mentee relationships between young people and responsible adults, and also policy changes to allow young people to contest national elections at “a certain lesser fee.”

“If young people who are closed to 30 per cent [of the population] are only represented in Parliament by less than 3 per cent; that is a serious problem.

“We need to have electoral quota for young people to say that young people who have the capacity and can be able to represent their various constituencies should pick the forms at a certain lesser amount, so that they can contest for political power,” the CPI Director observed.

The Wa Municipal Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Mr Ambrose Akum-yong, said the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals anchored on harnessing the potentials of all generations.

He observed that young people continue to suffer many barriers of ageism in areas of employment, political participation, health and justice and thus, intimated that action was needed across all generations to achieve the SDGs.

Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, in a speech delivered on his behalf, by his Personal Assistant, Mr Abdul-Rahaman Meigoro, said development was shared responsibility and therefore the potentials of all generations must be leveraged.

He intimated that Ghana was already on the trajectory to ensuring age inclusivity by developing a national youth policy.

The mammoth youth day celebration featured a health walk which preceded a mini rally and a concurrent free health screening exercise.

The event was supported and attended by various youth groups and organization including Necessary Aid Alliance, Rabito Clinic, Ghana Red Cross Society, Youth Alliance for Community Change, among others.

CPI holds career fair for final year students of SDD UBIDS

CPI holds career fair for final year students of SDD UBIDS

CPI holds career fair for final year students of SDD UBIDS

Coalition for Positive Impact (CPI) in partnership with the Youth Parliament of SDD UBIDS has held a Career Fair for final-year students of the SDD University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD UBIDS) to prepare the students for after-school life.

The career fair theme “Empowering Final Year Students on an Exit Plan” took the would-be graduates through interactive sessions on scholarship options, job and corporate skills, and entrepreneurial skills for starters, over the weekend.

Speaking at the sidelines of the fair, Senior Lecturer and patron of the Youth Parliament, SDD UBIDS, Dr Adams Abdulai said the event came in handy at the time when there were limited job opportunities and graduate unemployment was on the rise.

He added that resources were dwindling while family sizes were increasing which necessitated that students and graduates be empowered to leverage available opportunities to further their education and better their lives.

“Very often, we know that not all students would end at the first degree level, some certainly will go beyond that.
“[But] Resources are dwindling, families are increasing, responsibility levels are high and for that matter there is the need for them to have basic skills and knowledge on the sources of funding, so that they can take advantage of the scholarship windows and then make necessary applications to get funding support for further studies,” he explained.

Dr Abdulai, who walked the students through scholarship options and job search sessions, said that it was imperative for students to be equipped with relevant job-seeking and entrepreneurial skills in the wake of job scarcity and frozen public sector employment following Ghana’s IMF-World Bank engagement.

“So we tried to walk them through how to prepare a winnable CV, how to develop a catchy application letter … and how to embrace themselves for job interviews,” he noted.

Mr Isam Nuhu, the Director of Operations of CPI, addressing the scores of students at the fair, said the career fair fell in line with the CPI’s goal of empowering young people to become effective leaders and entrepreneurs, hence its sponsorship of the event.

“Over the years, CPI has brought together over 1,500 young people to a common platform to discuss ways by which they can grow into effective entrepreneurs and leaders,” he said.

He indicated that the CPI, through its annual Igniting Dreams Summit, has invested over GHc100,000 in supporting young entrepreneurs to scale up their startups through competitive tendering processes.

He encouraged the students to build effective networks and relations and stay updated with industry trends so as to take advantage of available opportunities to build their businesses and gain competitive employments.

Mr Abdul Hamid Adams, the CEO of Tondaar Ventures, a social enterprise that works with rural women in the shea processing industry, took the students through sessions on self-analysis, idea generation, business operations and growth, and challenges and prospects in the entrepreneurial space.

He noted that it was a common knowledge that the government cannot employ the many young people graduating from both public and private universities yearly, hence the need for young people to explore the field of entrepreneurship.

“This program was very interactive, it was very educative and I am very happy to have been part of it…we will also go to join them in the entrepreneurial industry and other sectors of the economy for us to make Ghana the country we all wanted it to become,” a participant said.

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 1,000 youth in Northern Ghana

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 1,000 youth in Northern Ghana

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 1,000 youth in Northern Ghana

Igniting Dreams, an entrepreneurship development program organized by the Coalition for Positive Impact (CPI), has impacted over one thousand young people and created job opportunities for youth in Northern Ghana.

This was disclosed by Mr. Maazu Bayuoni, the Executive Director of CPI during its 5th edition of the program in Wa, Upper West Region, over the weekend.

“Till date, the Igniting Dreams program has reached out to over 3,000 youth and created over 50 job opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the Upper West Region,” he said.

Mr. Bayuoni said Igniting Dreams is an entrepreneurship development program that provides business development training, mentorship, and seed funding for young entrepreneurs in Northern Ghana.

“Following these sessions, the ID prize challenge allows shortlisted business owners to pitch their ventures to contest for seed funding to help them scale their businesses,” he added.

He said through the Igniting Dreams Prize, young entrepreneurs are trained to develop their businesses and provided with seed funding to scale their ventures.

“Winners of the ID prize challenge become the Igniting Dreams Fellows and are enrolled into a one-year accelerator program that leverages business assessments, workshops, and business development training to help them access more business development resources, coaching/mentorship and more funding to scale their businesses,” Mr Byuoni stated.

Mr. Banguu Delle, the Chief Operations Officer at Carepoint, and CPI’s Board Chairman, speaking at the seminar, challenged young people to set life goals and dream beyond their imaginations.

He debunked the notion that Ghanaian youth are lazy, sleep a lot, and misuse their time; and said that Ghanaian youth rather lack inspiration in their fields of endeavour.

He said the youth of Ghana has what it takes to change their situations and turn around the country for the better if they are inspired or encouraged to do that.

Mr. Delle, in perspective, said the Upper West Region could be seen as having a lot of challenges but at the same time, having numerous opportunities.

He, therefore, urged the youth to take optimum advantage of these opportunities. The 2023 Igniting Dreams Gold Prize was won by Mumuni Amina of AmiShea Company Limited in the Savannah Region. She took home a whooping sum of GHC10,000.00.

The Silver and Bronze prizes went to Unit Development (UniDev) and Royal Avielle Ventures respectively with each receiving GHC7,000.00 and GHC5,000.00. Meanwhile, Royal Avielle Ventures also won the People’s Choice Prize worth GHC5,000.00.

IT Hub took home GHC3,000.00 as the fourth-placed prize winner.

The others, fifth to tenth-placed, in the order: Grays Smock Haven, Timoya Farms, Green Herd Ranch, My Mata Farms, Ariz Smart Farms, and Sanjal Ventures each received GHC1,000.00.

The top ten finalists (the Igniting Dreams Fellows) who received prizes were among over 70 business entities who applied for the Igniting Dreams Prize from across the five regions of Northern Ghana.

The ten Igniting Dreams fellows were taken through a month-long intensive business development training before the final pitching competition that saw them clinch their various prizes.

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 300 youth in Northern Ghana

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 300 youth in Northern Ghana

CPI’s Igniting Dreams program empowers over 300 youth in Northern Ghana

Maazu Bayuoni, CPI Executive Director

The fifth edition of CPI’s flagship Igniting Dreams program took place on 7th January 2023 in Wa, Upper West Region, Ghana. It enjoyed the support of many partners including the Sangu Delle Foundation, Rabito Clinic Limited, Noni-Hub and Reliance Fidelity International Group.

The program was a tremendous success with more than 300 young people attending the Summit. The summit featured two (2) powerful speeches on monetizing one’s talents through social media and investment opportunities in the banking sector.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Banguu Delle, the board chairman of CPI, who advised the youth to dream big and not be limited by their own imaginations.

For the first time in five years, the program brought together over 300 young entrepreneurs from all 5 regions in Northern Ghana. More than 70 young business personalities applied to the 2023 Igniting Dreams Prize and 10 of them were admitted into the Fellowship.

The young fellows received intensive one-month business development training in design thinking and lean methodology, business planning and strategy, business model canvas, financial projections, etc., all intended to make them investor ready.

Following the training sessions, all 10 fellows pitched their businesses at the Igniting Dreams Summit to contest for the ultimate prize of GH¢10,000.00 out of GH¢36,000.00 which was distributed as seed funding among all 10 of them.

AmiShea Company Ltd., a savannah region-based shea production company that processes shea nuts into butter, soaps, hair growth creams, cooking oil, and briquettes emerged as the top prize winner, taking home GH¢10,000.00.

Speaking to the media after the pitch, Amina Mumuni, founder of AmiShea company limited said “the 2023 Igniting Dreams program aided me to identify my business niche, design a working product and properly position my business for investment and growth.
The seed funding would enable me to purchase a grinding mill and a laptop and work on my packaging and branding to meet international standards. I am grateful to the Coalition for Positive Impact and their partners for this support, as it will significantly impact my business.”

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes went to UniDev Company Ltd., Royal Avielle Ventures and IT-Hub respectively. They were awarded GH¢7,000.00, GH¢5,000.00 and GH¢ 3,000.00 in similar order. The 5th-10th placed fellows also received a sum of GH¢1,000.00 each to support their businesses.
These prize winners and some of the fellows will further undergo a six-month virtual accelerator program to help them access more funding and scale their businesses. In addition, they will gain access to more business development resources, mentorship/coaching, among others.

Participants of this year’s program expressed their excitement for the opportunity to network, develop new connections and be impacted by notable business personalities. In his remarks, Mr. Maazu Bayuoni, CPI’s Executive Director, reiterated that “if young people could receive training and funding for their businesses, it would help create millions of decent jobs for them”.

He ended by reemphasizing CPI’s resolve to bridge the lacuna between underprivileged young entrepreneurs and the needed support to grow and scale their ventures.
Igniting Dreams has consistently proven to be an integral pathway to developing young entrepreneurs in Northern Ghana. Since its launch, the program has always attracted talented and ambitious young people and its alumni network continues to grow vibrantly.

Creating A Sustainable Future For The Youth Of Upper West Region

Creating A Sustainable Future For The Youth Of Upper West Region

Creating A Sustainable Future For The Youth Of Upper West Region

A young girl in the Upper West Region is more likely to be married off at a very young age (sometimes to a man old enough to be her father) than she is to get into college. She is more likely to be a poor housewife than a decent wage worker contributing to economic development. She’s more likely to seek greener pastures in bigger cities (mostly risking her life to male sexual predators and kidnappers) than she is to find a decent job at home.

A young boy in the same Upper West Region may not know this, and for that, I pity him. He’s more likely to marry a teenage girl and get stuck in indecent employment than he will get into tertiary education. He is more likely to spend less time trekking to the bush to hunt animals than he will spend walking to school. He’s more vulnerable to criminal/illegal activities including “galamsey”, armed robbery and cybercrime than finding a decent job at home.

These are the harsh realities of today’s Upper West Region. And when I reflect on these complexities, I feel terribly sorry about the state of our Region. No human being regardless of background should have to face these challenges in today’s modern, fast-paced world where other countries are building robots and flying out into space.

This inequality isn’t only disturbing but also striking. We need to urgently build home grown solutions that cater to the needs of the people of the Region, and we must act NOW without any further delays!
But how can we achieve this?
We must massively invest in the Region’s most important asset; its youth. Young people constitute more than a third of the population of the Region (37%) and this number is expected to double in the next 2 decades, thus, presenting a unique demographic asset that can be harnessed into an economic dividend. A successful investment in one youth in the Upper West Region is an investment in an entire family/household and many generations to follow.
How to deploy this massive youth investment.

  • We must urgently invest in business development programs for the young entrepreneurs in the Region. This will immediately create a community of aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs and enable existing small businesses to grow into bigger, more sustainable brands. The result of this will be a massive job explosion and the absorption of the teeming unemployed youth into decent employment in the Region. According to the 2021 population and housing census, more than half of those 15 years and above in the Upper West Region are outside the labour force. This is a development lacuna that must be bridged, and we can easily do this by investing in business development programs that will create job opportunities for the youth. Whilst agriculture is the largest employer of the Region, its performance in providing decent jobs and reducing poverty has been unsatisfactory. These business development programs will offer diverse support to all types of businesses, ranging from technology to the low hanging fruits (e.g., fashion design, food merchandise, clothing shops, etc) among others. In addition, these programs will provide meaningful mentorship opportunities for the youth, especially our young entrepreneurs. For example, a giant like Antika Company Limited could adopt and mentor a small agriculture company like Tieme Ndo enterprise in Nandom. Royal Cosy Hills Hotel could also mentor a small tourism business within the Region. This kind of mentorship will serve as a catalyst for the creation of a booming private sector and help us to develop more sustainable businesses and create decent jobs for the youth. There are great business opportunities in the Region that if well harnessed, will create many decent jobs, but without these business development programs, we would not be able to identify these businesses that need the support and resources to grow.
  • We must quickly invest in skills training and capacity building programs for our youth. This could be in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) or job readiness training. These kinds of training will equip our youth with the relevant skillset and make them competitive on the job market. Today’s labour market is constantly changing and so are its demands. We must, therefore, equip our youth with the needed and relevant skills to enable them to compete for the limited decent job opportunities. For some, this training could lead to the creation of their own business ventures (self-employment) and will benefit from the business development programs that have been discussed in point 1. This investment in capacity building programs is non-negotiable if we want to create decent jobs for our youth. Traditional leaders, members of parliament, and other relevant stakeholders must consider organizing these programs for the youth or sponsoring youth development organizations to run these trainings for them.
  • We need to instantly create an Upper West Infrastructural Development Fund which will focus mainly on developing the needed infrastructure for our Region if the government will not do so. Our Region still lacks in numerous infrastructure in key functional sectors such as education, healthcare, and social growth (e.g. roads). All of these have a direct effect on poverty and unemployment levels. Hence, investing in massive infrastructural development will not only provide decent job opportunities for our youth, but it will also encourage young girls and boys to go to school, establish their own businesses, and generally ease and increase business activities in the Region. The Infrastructural Development Fund should be hosted at the Regional Coordinating Council and all our leaders and employed population must be required to make minimum monthly contributions to it. We can then use the proceeds from this fund to create some of the needed infrastructure. The fund should be disbursed according to district contribution, projects awarded to Upper West contractors and jobs given to the youth within the Region.
  • Thirdly, we must as a matter of urgency create individual tertiary education sponsorship funds for our youth. In fact, the creation of these funds is long overdue. Wealthy and successful individuals living in and outside the Region should establish sponsorship funds to assist needy students in the Region. This will reduce the rate of school dropout and develop more human resource for the Region. The story of Joshua, my high school classmate, a very brilliant and ambitious young man who ended up as a drug addict and ‘galamsey’ boy haunts me each time I think of the lack of opportunities for the poor and underprivileged youth of our Region. But Joshua’s story is not an isolated one. It is an example of the many stories of the rural poor in the Region. Joshua could have easily passed as a social entrepreneur answering challenging development questions in his community, or a lawyer, standing up and speaking for his community members when the need arises. Unfortunately, he lost all of that because of lack of opportunity! For us to prevent people like Joshua from wasting away, we must zealously and exigently create these tertiary education sponsorship funds to support them. Keeping in mind that our Region is saddled with several development crisis, beneficiaries of these sponsorship funds should be tasked to work on community projects that solve challenges in their communities while they are in school. This will teach them the attitude of giving back and equip them with the necessary skills for the world of work even before they complete school.
  • Lastly, youth in the Upper West Region should be invited to the decision-making table. Young people need to be in the room when decisions are being made because only they can adequately understand their challenges and proffer solutions to them. The era where it was assumed that young people were incapable has expired. Young people are capable, have bright ideas, and have the energy and exuberance to bring those ideas to life. Hence, the youth need a seat at the high table where discussions on progress and development is held. This can be done through the various youth-led organizations in the Region, and there currently exist many of them.

To conclude, development will not descend from the sky. Jobs will not grow like grass. Poverty will not die like a corn plant. We must take our fate into our own hands and create the necessary conditions that will lead to the development of our Region. And for us, this can only be achieved through youth empowerment and the creation of decent jobs. Therefore, our organization, the Coalition for Positive Impact (, established a business development program named Igniting Dreams, to provide business development support, mentorship, and seed funding for young entrepreneurs in the Upper West Region.

Within the first four (4) years of our existence, we have empowered over 1200 Upper West youth from all 11 districts in the Region, and funded 11 young businesses, leading to the creation of over 40 jobs for the youth of the Region. With more support, we can achieve even better results. Our goal for Igniting Dreams is to develop 100,000 young entrepreneurs and help 1 million young Africans to find decent jobs. 50% of these jobs will be created in Northern Ghana, especially the Upper West Region.

We have also recently launched a program that will allow individuals to establish their own sponsorship funds with our organization to sponsor brilliant but underprivileged youth in the Region to get a tertiary education. As it is often said, talent is universally distributed but opportunity is not. This program will bring sponsorship opportunities closer to the brilliant but underprivileged youth and set their dreams ablaze. This is what we represent helping young people to bring their dreams and goals to life. Hence, if you are a private individual and are interested in supporting underprivileged youth in the Upper West Region but do not have the time to do so, talk to us. Let us help you bring this impactful desire to life! We will manage your funds effectively and help you to achieve your goals through a meaningful and beneficial partnership.

Maazu Bayuoni

 Social Entrepreneur, Poet and Spoken word Artist