The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has reiterated government’s commitment to solving the challenge of unemployment and increasing the avenues for female employment and economic wellbeing.
“I am therefore glad to note that the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is vigorously pursuing strategies to provide industry demand driven skills to our youth. This will make them participate meaningfully in the labour market; making them locally productive and globally competitive,” Mrs Akufo-Addo said.
Addressing an open-day activity of the “Female Professionals in Electronics (FPE)” in Accra on Monday, Mrs Akufo-Addo said females’ full participation in the labour market was of equal importance to government and that was why a National Gender Policy had been designed to cater for both the employment needs of females and males.
The FPE is a project being implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), under its Employment for Sustainable Development Project (E4D), in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Samsung Group in West Africa. This is part of strategies to mainstream gender in the on-going TVET reforms and create more employment opportunities for females, especially in male-dominated fields. FPE is being implemented in four technical institutions in Ghana, namely; Pentecost Vocational Training Institute, Accra Girls Vocational Institute and Don Bosco Vocational Institute, all based in Greater Accra Region and the CYO Technical Vocational Institute at Sovie in the Volta Region.
The girls are trained in electronics installation, repair and servicing, a male-dominated trade, and are tasked to do their internship with Sumsung, the private partner of the project. One hundred and ten students are currently in their final year preparing to graduate by June 2017 and 120 more students would be enrolled this year.
Mrs Akufo-Addo expressed joy about the FPE project which was focusing mainly in developing the skills of females in electronics, saying; “women as well as men deserve to take up any jobs and be financially independent.” She was full of praise for the young ladies for believing in the study of electronics to make a difference. “You understand the importance of electronics in our national development and do not want to be left out. You ladies give me so much hope for the future. You have set out on an exciting journey to positively affect our world,” the First lady said. “You have taken a brave decision towards your future and you are making history.
Be focused and study, explore and enjoy your journey towards a great future. “I believe women are capable of doing any work that men can do,” she said. Mrs Akufo-Addo, however, urged girls from junior high schools to be part of the girls making history in the electronics sector and acknowledged both the Korean and the German Governments for believing in the power of technology to positively affect the world.
“It is therefore a great pleasure to see a collaborative effort between Korea International Cooperation Agency and the German Development Agency, with their private partner Samsung, making significant impact in this country, through the implementation of the “Female Professionals in Electronics project,” she said.
She commended KOICA for undertaking projects such as the Maternal and Child Health project in the Volta Region, the Dawhenya Rice Irrigation, the Accra Transport Master Plan Project, Capacity Building Programmes for GRIDCo and scholarship and training programmes for various government officials. Mrs Akufo-Addo said the Ghana-German relationship had also existed since independence and with the over 60 years of bilateral relationship, both countries had worked towards the collective goal of sustainable development of Ghana.
Mr John Duti, the Team Leader, Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa, giving an overview of the Female Professionals in Electronics, said the project was a unique one being implemented in eight African countries. Its main aim was to create jobs, enhance incomes and improve on work places of people, he said, adding; “in Ghana, we have been given a target of creating not less than 2500 jobs, enhance incomes of 27,000 people by 10 per cent of up to two USD/day at least… and improve labour conditions of 11,200 people starting from 2015-2019”.
“Thirty-five per cent and 40 per cent of beneficiaries are women and youth respectively,” Mr Duti said. Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador, said the FPE project was a fantastic example of how the private sector, the Government and the development partners could collaborate and pursue a common goal to generate qualified professionals in electronics.
Present at the ceremony were Mr Woon Ki Lyeo, the Korean Ambassador and the Country Director of KOICA, representatives of GIZ, as well as the directors of the four training institutes.