The Solidaridad Network, a partner of the International Cocoa Initiative, presents findings on the impact of MASO, a five-year programme focussed on creating employment opportunities for youth aged 18-25 in cocoa communities. The programme targeted 10,700 not-in-school youth living under the $2 per day poverty line in specific communities.

The review found that the MASO programme has had a positive but mixed impact on economic outcomes. Positive impacts were noted in relation to finances with youth knowledge and use of formal banks, mobile money and diversification of saving places increasing. Impacts related to gender, access to land and finance, however, were limited.

The report presents several recommendations:

  • Gender and age-specific challenges should be considered and addressed ahead of programme interventions.
  • Skills training should be coupled by engagement from the private sector, specific training related to entrepreneurship training and a supply-chain approach to job creation.
  • Youth should be exposed to new technologies to create demand for their use as these could help foster innovation and resilience.

The MASO programme is implemented by Solidaridad, Aflatoun, Ashesi University, Fidelity Bank and the Ghana Cocoa Board. Find out more here.

maso programme

Improving youth livelihoods in the Ghana cocoa belt: An impact of the MASO programme