Business News of Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Plan International Ghana, an independent child rights and humanitarian organisation, has launched “Green Skills for Ghana” project, to offer employment opportunities for the youth in Ghana.
The three-year project, which is being funded by the European Union, aims at creating livelihood opportunities for 6,000 youth and women through promotion of local environmentally sustainable businesses.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, in a speech read on his behalf lauded Plan International Ghana, for initiating the project, which would go a long way to provide employment opportunities for the youth.
Mr Awuah said employment creation was among government’s key priorities, in that perspective, a number of flagship programs were being rolled out in every part of the country to create sustainable livelihood for the youth.
He mentioned that these include “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme, “One-District, One-Dam”, “One-Constituency, One Million Dollar Fund” and the “District Centre for Agriculture Commerce and Technology (DCACT)”.
The Minister noted that however that, the implementation of the “Green Skills for Ghana” Project was expected to complement these flagship employment interventions.
He said as a country we could not also run away from protecting our environment, as such, it was in the right direction that in the design of such projects, the primary consideration should be guided by sensitivity to sustainability of the environment.
“I will therefore, urge Plan International Ghana and other implementing stakeholders to identify key areas of collaboration with institutions assigned with responsibility to implement the flagship programme to avoid duplication and waste of resources,” he added.
He again called on Municipal and District Assemblies identified to work on the project, to provide the necessary technical and supervisory support to ensure the project was successful so that positive lessons could be replicated on other parts of the country.
Madam Fadimata Alainchar, the Country Director, Plan International Ghana, said the objective of the project was to contribute to economic growth through job creation and expansion of economic activities in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner in sixty communities of the Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo Regions.
Quoting the Ghana Statistical Service, 2016 report, she said the Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo Regions respectively recorded unemployment rates of 14.4 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively.
She said the national statistics indicated that the average unemployment rate for youth (15-34 years) was 12.33 percent, which is far higher than the non-youth (above 34 years) rate of 5.7 per cent.
Madam Alainchar said the alarming unemployment statistics for women and youth in Ghana required greater efforts to reduce the menace to the barest minimum, adding, “it is against this background that the project seeks to create opportunities for women and the youth”.
She said Plan International Ghana through the “Green Skills project would contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal eight (8); Good jobs and economic growth, as well as goal 13 which highlights the protection of the environment.
Plan International Ghana is collaborating with the organisations such as Microfin Plus Ghana, Women Integrated Development Organisation (WIDO), Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Ga South Municipal Assembly and Tano North District Assembly, to implement the project.
The project would also support the youth (18 to 35 years) and their communities to gain ‘green skills’ and apply them in order for them to enjoy a safe and protected environment.