KPIT is an institution established with the vision of providing job-creating hands-on, practical skills training for the youth of Africa and beyond to acquire skills and the resources to set up their businesses thereby creating jobs and therefore reducing poverty. Various attempts by the government of Africa aimed at job creation and poverty reduction do not, largely, make commercial sense and therefore, are not self-sustaining. In Ghana, some of these initiatives include Social Investment Fund, Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), LESDEF, Youth Enterprises and Skills Fund (YES Fund), Skills Development Fund (SDF), just to name a few. All these funds are mostly channeled through government or quasi-government institutions for the intended target. The challenge has always been that the public and or civil servants who manage these funds (together with their private sector counterparts) do not have the ‘commercial’ motivation to drive them in developing self-sustaining institutions/projects to see the projects/programmes beyond their initial set-up periods. They will get paid whether or not if the project succeeds or fail. KPIT is a wholly-owned private sector initiative established with the sole purpose of helping the African unemployed youth without skills to acquire skills over a relatively short period of time, supported with the necessary basic start-up tools and equipment and mentored to set-up their businesses.
Several studies over the years have strongly highlighted the scale of the youth unemployment in Ghana and the rest of Africa. The poignant one is a report the World Bank published on May 29, 2016 and sourced from citifmonline.com titled, the Landscape of Jobs in Ghana with a screaming headline: 48% of Ghanaian youth do not have jobs. The report paints a grim unemployment situation with the assertion that about 250,000 youths come to the labour market every year with only 2% finding jobs in the formal labour market and the rest 98% find their way into the informal labour market or remain unemployed. The informal labour market in most African countries comprises of mainly artisans and master craftsmen. These are the people with hands-on practical skills and they earn their living from the skill they posses. There are only a few (if any) formal training institutions available in Africa where these artisans and master craftsmen are trained. Training in this sector is therefore unstructured, poorly regulated and inappropriately measured. So although most of the economies of Africa are largely dependent on these labour force, their true and real impact are not appropriately and adequately measured in the determination of the size of the economy, and so on.
Various statesments have described the youth unemployment situation in Africa as ‘national security threats’ and ‘ticking bomb waiting to explode’. Youth employment is perpetuating a lot of social vices in various countries around the world. It is exacerbating endemic poverty around the world and worsening malnutrition and general well being of the population.
Two (2) years ago, BS Africa Limited signed a memorandum of understanding with Technical University of Kumasi (then Kumasi Polytechnic) for the piloting of KPIT – then as a concept. The concept resulted in the training of about 170 students in various skills set and supported them with tool kits to set up their businesses. We are private sector people and it means we are a commercially inspired. If we are unable to operate profitably, then we cannot be in business. So all of our training and programmes are selected in a way that it make commercial sense for the students as well.