The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Skills Initiative For Africa (SIFA), and the German Government, has launched the Call for Proposals for large scale development investment projects in Ghana to empower the youth with entrepreneurial skills.
The programme is to train young Ghanaians in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to empower them with entrepreneurial skills to create more jobs for themselves and others.
SIFA is an initiative of the African Union (AU) Commission, which established financing facility for skills development to strengthen occupational prospects of young people in Africa.
The Facility is implemented by the AU’s New partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency – NPCA), with financing from Germany through KFW, the German Development Bank.
Mrs Fati N’Zi-Hassane, a Representative from the AUDA/NEPAD, said the skills development was designed to coherently address the common challenges in that area by up-scaling and disseminating local best practices and supporting innovative and sustainable approaches to foster the employment and entrepreneurship of the youth.
She said the Financing Facility provided funding on a competitive basis for the implementation of innovative and skills development initiatives, which directly engaged the private sector, to address market needs and have a regional impact.
The initiatives, she said, must align with national strategies with the perspective of improving quality-based employment-oriented skills development.
Currently eight countries – Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia – are benefitting from the SIFA financing mechanism.
Mrs N’Zi-Hasaane said in 2018, the AU Heads of State agreed on the transformation of the NEPAD Agency into the African Development Agency (AUDA) with a clear mission to support the 55 African States in the implementation of the continental development blueprint known as “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.
This document, she said, consisted of a set of activities that included the coordination and implementation of development programmes, technical assistance, and capacity building.
Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of TVET, said the sector was crucial to Ghana’s developmental agenda and commended the German Government for always playing a leading role to promote TVET in the country.
She said skills training had led other countries to become industrial giants with the African Continent being left behind.
Mrs Ampofo, therefore, urged African leaders to stop paying lip services to skills training and walk the talk to ensure economic transformation.
The Deputy Minister said the SIFA Project would bridge the gap in the educational system and allow the youth to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
She said TVET was one of the priorities of the Ministry and that it was working hard to revamp the sector to promote entrepreneurial development, especially among the youth.
Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, recounted the German support for Africa in the area of TVET and expressed its commitment to strengthening collaboration in that direction to give the youth the necessary skills to become change agents of the Continent.
He said Africa needed about 12 million jobs every year, therefore, the German Government had allotted 60 million Euros as funding for TVET in Africa out of which three million euros was allocated to Ghana.
He said Germany was willing to support Ghana with an additional 90 million euros to enrol about 25,000 youth in technical and vocational apprenticeship in the next two years to reduce the unemployment rate.