The Untold Success Story Of GYEEDA 2
By: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
An overall objective of the GYEEDA programme was to create opportunity for government to invest in the people, particularly young people who are unemployed but skilled and desirous of doing something meaningful. How that was to be done is captured in the various exit plans of the various models; that is either a permanent employment is created for beneficiaries, offloaded to a private organisation or assisted to set up on his or her own upon completion of training. Nice as these sounded, there were obstacles to achieving them. For instance, Rlg Communications was to payback all monies taken from government to run the Youth-In -ICT module with interest, a condition it has faithfully been complying to but this meant the service provider will not be left with no money until next loan is granted.
The Impact Assessment and Review Committee figures have it that between 2006 and 2012, as much as 65,000 youth were recruited onto the dressmaking module alone whilst 55,000 and 40,000 were enrolled onto the youth-in-ICT and hairdressing modules respectively. In terms of actual beneficiaries, the committee established that between the year 2009 and 2010 alone, 25,000 youth benefitted from the dressmaking module administered by Asongtaba Cottage and Exchange Programme while 10,402 youth became beneficiaries of the hairdressing programme. For mobile phone repairs, 4,939 beneficiaries learnt the trade from Rlg Institute of Technology Centres nationwide.
The committee in their value for money analysis, said ‘available data seems to suggest that Rlg’s ICT module has succeeded in creating opportunities for persons in most of the regions, most especially those from the upper east region. This is especially so considering the possibility of direct employment by RLG of persons trained under the module’.
It was also the view of the committee that ‘in terms of alignment with overarching GYEEDA Mission, relevance and robustness of Module, the Rlg module aligns with the overarching objective of GYEEDA to create sustainable employment’.
That perhaps explains the reason why on humanitarian grounds, the company decided to permanently employ a substantial number of the beneficiaries who would have been at the mercy of the ever tightening job market. At the company’s Assembly Plant atOsu, over 200 of them have jobs with appreciably good working conditions.,
For instance, in one of the training contract MOUs dated 12 th October, 2009, Asongtaba Cottage and Exchange Programme took an interest free loan of 7,185,475 and provide a counterpart funding of 1,268,025. The loan has been paid back. By another MOU dated 3 rd August, 2009,Rlg was offered an interest-free loan facility totalling 1,792, 877.50 cedis for the training of 5,000 people. Rlg was to provide a counterpart funding of 338,760 cedis. Additionally, it was Rlg’s duty to set the trainees up upon completion of training. The monies have since been paid back in full. By essence, Rlg, the service provider will have to pay such people using little profits, if any at all to do this kind of job. In the long run who is really investing in the people? Is it the service provider or government?
In their own report, the Ministerial Committee on Review and Impact Assessment said ‘the GYEEDA concept is as relevant today as it was when it was introduced’. Indeed the committee went ahead to evaluate the importance of some of the modules and among the three that scored high marks were the Youth-in-ICT or phone repairs and dressmaking. The Dressmaking module which is being run by Asongtaba Cottage and Exchange Programme scored 10/10, translating to an impressive 100%endorsement while the ICT module scored 7/10.
The committee went ahead to hear the testimony of one training instructor who said ‘providing training to trainees has helped to make me more popular and as I teach them I get to learn more and sharpen my skills. In fact, on daily basis more youth come to ask for training and some of those I have trained have also opened shops. The difficulty is you may not have time for your own work/ client orders’. She continued that she received her sewing machine; training was offered and was paid for and set up kiosk provided. Now am saving to purchase Knitting & Locking machine. A beneficiary, Peace Asanya captured this essence in a different way when she told the committee that ‘not only am I making dresses I have also started training one intern’.
In many African countries today, various governments have decided to adopt the Ghana’s GYEEDA concept as a feasible model for the economic transformation of young people. Currently in Nigeria and the Gambia, RLG has been helping their respective governments to implement the initiative. At a recent World Bank Group Meeting on Youth Employment in Abuja, government officials from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal expressed the desire to adopt Ghana’s strategy which the international community believes has been hugely a success.
This also explains the numerous frequent visits to Rlg’sultra modern Assembly Plant in Ghana, the first of its kind in our part of the continent. The Plant has since been visited by a former Zambian President, a Vice President of Microsoft Corporation, Senators and Governors from Nigeria, senior government officials from Equatorial Guinea, Members of Ghana’s Parliament, and some ministers of state, among others. One is therefore compelled to ask that is this another case of a prophet not being accepted in his own home?
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