Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, says the government is convinced of the potential of entrepreneurship to transform the country’s economy.
He says with the needed guidance, many unemployed individuals in the country could develop innovative solutions to shore up the economy.
The national green jobs strategy is expected to help drive the goal.
“The public sector cannot accommodate the teeming unemployed youth. Many of the youth when given the needed guidance can become entrepreneurs. Our collaboration with SNV is to deepen the entrepreneurial mentality of the youth. The youth must think of themselves as becoming entrepreneurs rather than being employed by government,” he said.
A delegation from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and SNV Ghana have been on a tour of some green businesses in the Ashanti region.
The visit is in line with the government’s National Green Jobs Strategy, aimed at promoting green jobs and transition to an environmentally sustainable economy.
The strategy, developed in 2020 with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU), is being implemented by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
From oil palm fields, through women-led businesses to an establishment building climate-resilient roads and infrastructure, the team visited and commissioned businesses established by young Ghanaian entrepreneurs in five communities.
Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, Wendy van Meel, was impressed by the prospects of the horticultural sector.
“We are impressed by the achievements made under the Green project. A lot of decent jobs have been created. From the Netherlands, we see potential in the horticultural sector. There are a lot of lands available so there are several opportunities for Ghana to produce more vegetables for exports to rake in revenue for the country,” she said.
Green Businesses in the Ashanti region
At the Moreplex Company Ltd owned by Prince Adjei, the delegation was introduced to a variety of cosmetics produced from organic and locally sourced materials like aloe vera, cocoa potash and other herbs.
Moreplex is one of the 15 awardees of SNV’s 2022 GrEEn Innovation Challenge and was awarded a matching grant of EUR 10,000 to put up a small-scale factory and a training centre to teach his craft to rural women and youth.
In many parts of the country, waste engine oil is indiscriminately disposed of posing as danger to the environment.
Tahir Field Recycling Company, recycles waste engine oil from heavy-duty machines and vehicles, turning “dirty oil” into refined engine oil to be reused.
He was supported with a grant of GH₵100,000 to scale up his green business and build a factory under the SNV’s maiden GrEEn Innovation Challenge in 2021.
Project Manager of GrEEn project at the EU, Marta Brignone, called on the government and other stakeholders to institute measures to support the sustenance of businesses.
“If the youth have good ideas and are supported they can go far. Sustainability is key for every business. I appeal to national institutions and developing to provide the needed support to sustain green and innovative businesses,” she said.
Under the Cash for Work project, the Adom Oil Farms Cooperative located at Kwame Adjei in the region boasts of improved livelihoods after receiving financial and technical support from both SNV and UNCDF.
The community now has a new processing centre for processing palm fruit into unadulterated cooking oil for exports.
The GrEEn project aims to create green jobs and promote the growth of the green and circular economy in Ghana by improving skills development and increasing access to finance for youth.
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