THE PRINCIPAL of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Jewellery Design and Technology Centre (KJDTC), Joseph Kojo Arthur, has expressed gross concern over the ‘snail pace’ at which technology is being developed in the country.
The deplorable development, he observed, has contributed to hamper the speedy growth of businesses in the country, in particular, the jewellery industry which provides employment for most of the youth.
‘The technological development in Ghana has been at a slow pace and this has hampered growth of most industries including the jewellery industry,’ Mr. Arthur bemoaned at a function on Wednesday.
The occasion was Project Inception Workshop dubbed ‘Enhancing the Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Jewellery Industry through Technology and Innovation.’
As part of the two-year intensive educative programme, about 600 graduates from the JHS and SHS in the Ashanti Region who were no longer in school as well as young people in the jewellery industry would be selected and trained in the modern ways of producing jewellery via technology.
Professionally trained tutors at the KJDTC would use its state-of-the-art infrastructure to teach the students in jewellery designs using Computer-Aided Design (CAD.)
The programme is being sponsored by the Government of Ghana, World Bank, DANIDA, JICA, GTZ, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and the African Development Bank.
Mr. Arthur was of the opinion that the implementation of the programme on a pilot basis in the Ashanti Region would help address the challenges facing the jewellery industry in Ghana.
This, he said, would also lead to national development through value addition, foreign exchange and employment creation, particularly for the youth as a means to intensifying the fight against extreme poverty.
Mr. Arthur added that the new programme’s success would help Ghana achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day and achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all.
He lamented over the high rate of dropouts at the JHS and SHS levels of education in the country, noting ‘the need to equip these young people with employable and marketable skills like jewellery manufacturing design becomes an important choice to enable them to succeed in the labour market.’
The educative programme seeks partnership with the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC) to provide training in marketing skills for the 600 selected youth across the Ashanti Region.
Project Coordinator Williams Obuor described lack of job creation as a major bane confronting Ghana, hoping that the new project would help boost the jewellery industry and provide jobs for the youth in the process.
He mentioned competitiveness in the Jewellery industry, improving knowledge and providing entrepreneurship skills among the 600 selected people as some of the core objectives of the project.
Mr. Obuor said those who would be trained, would be resourced with a capital to set up their own businesses which would be monitored by his outfit to see their progress in the jewellery industry.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi