The Employment for Development in Africa (E4D/SOGA), a programme that promotes employment opportunities in seven African countries through cooperation with business, has successfully held a networking and marketplace event in Accra.
The regional program E4D/SOGA regularly hosts a Learning Forum to foster public-private exchange on current issues and approaches to employment promotion and private sector cooperation. The market place therefore, the last event to climax the week-long E4D/SOGA Learning Forum was a platform to dialogue with all stakeholders and participants to enhance partnership.
Ghana was selected to host this year’s event as it has one of the biggest E4D/SOGA project portfolios in Africa with high impact in terms of employment and incomes and the E4D/SOGA team in Ghana has developed a number of successful skills and entrepreneurship initiatives with the private sector. E4D/SOGA is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Giving the opening address at the networking marketplace event, the German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Christoph Retzlaff said that the topic of the Learning Forum reflected the biggest challenges the African continent is facing nowadays: the lack of jobs, in particular for the youth and the need for more private investment to create large-scale and broad-based employment. He pointed out that it is a priority for German development cooperation in Ghana to support private sector development and the creation of jobs.
Mr. Retzlaff also highlighted the initiative “Compact with Africa” which was launched by the German G20 presidency and which aims for improving investment climate in African partner countries. He was happy that Ghana will be a pilot country for German engagement under the Compact. Ghana and Germany are celebrating 60 years of cooperation this year.
On his part, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Business Development, who delivered the keynote address, thanked the German government for selecting Ghana to be one of the five countries to benefit from a special grant. He also stated that one of the main challenges facing the youth in Ghana was unemployment and the government was taking steps to address it with the help of all its development partners including the German gouvernment.
About 200 participants were presented from academia, development cooperation, private and public sector. There were several booths, where GIZ implemented regional and bi-lateral programmes exhibited their activities and contributions to the sustainable development of Ghana. The booths were managed by dedicated programme staff who interacted with the participants and presented their work.