As a brand ambassador, Stonebwoy (Livingstone Etse Satekla) is supporting the overall objective of the MASO (The Next Generation Cocoa) Programme for creating career opportunities for youth. He is also using his music to motivate Ghanaian youth and increase the popularity of careers in the cocoa sector.
The future of farming
The MASO programme employs a holistic approach to providing market-relevant skills training, coaching, mentorship and the creating of an enabling environment to address the various challenges of youth unemployment. Through its agribusiness academies, young people in Ghana are provided with the requisite skills, training and incubation services to make cocoa farming and related businesses an attractive career choice.
The visit created an opportunity for Stonebwoy to interact with beneficiaries of the MASO programme and traditional leaders who are the current custodians of land needed by the youth for future farming.
Advocating for community support
Speaking at Akome Gborta, one of the communities he visited, Stonebwoy encouraged the youth to consider opportunities in the cocoa sector as a potential career options.
“We all have a role to play in cocoa farming to ensure the legacy of our fore parents does not die. I believe cocoa cultivation has a huge potential in creating employment for out of school youth and also for growing Ghana’s economy. Let’s get involved," Stonebwoy said.
The Country Representative of Solidaridad in Ghana, Suzan Hermina Yemidi, also appealed to parents and traditional leaders to encourage their young people to go into the cocoa sector.
Stonebwoy is an international award-winning Ghanaian dancehall artist. He won the Black Entertainment Television (BET) International Act in 2015 and was again nominated in the same category in 2017. He was appointed as the MASO brand ambassador in 2016 to use his music as a rallying tool to motivate the youth to seek a future in the cocoa sector.
About the MASO programme
MASO is an innovative programme targeting young people in cocoa-growing communities in Ghana. MASO focuses on creating employment opportunities for youth aged 18 to 25 in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western, Central and Volta regions.
The goal of MASO is to empower the youth to be drivers of change in the cocoa sector by making cocoa farming and businesses in cocoa growing communities an economically viable career choice for them.
MASO is part of the Youth Forward Initiative (YFI) which is a partnership between Mastercard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Global Communities, Solidaridad, NCBA-CLUSA and GOAL. The “Youth Forward Initiative” brings together multiple organizations to train and help transition young people into sustainable jobs in the construction and agricultural sectors in Ghana and Uganda.
MASO is implemented by five consortium partners led by Solidaridad. The other members are Aflatoun, Ashesi University, Fidelity Bank and the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in West Africa.