Employment Minister, EU, Netherlands,and high-level government officials tour GrEEn Project in the Ashanti Region.

From Tuesday, 12th to Wednesday, 13thSeptember 2023, a high-level delegation, led by the Hon. Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah,  will be visiting the Ashanti Region and engaging with partners, beneficiaries and stakeholders of the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project.

The visit, comprising of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, The Deputy Ambassador from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ghana, Wendy van Meel, First Secretary at the Netherlands Embassy, Bram Elmer van Opijnen, Marta Brignone, Programme Officer at the European Union in Ghana, Barbara White Nkoala, the Country Director of SNV in Ghana as well as other key level partners from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. It started off at the RCC where the High-level Delegation was hosted by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah

The visit, organised by SNV in Ghana and the UN Capital Development Fund(UNCDF),co-implementing partners of the GrEEn Project,form spart of the collaborative partnership between the government of Ghana and the European Union to promote the growth of Ghana’s circular economy.

The visit’s objectives also alignwith Ghana’s policies such as the National Green Jobs Strategy, which aims to promote 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.The visit also complements key government policy documents -the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPESDP) (2017-2024) with the theme “An Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All, the National Decentralization Development Strategy.”

After, the team joined a green entrepreneur, Prince Adjei, who received 6-months of business incubation services from SNV Ghana, to launch his mini factory in the Bekwai Municipality funded with EUR 10,000 from the EU and the Netherlands Embassy under the Project.

Prince Adjei owns Moreplex Company Ltd. and produces cosmetics from organic and locally sourced materials like aloe vera, cocoa potash and other herbs. The business also offers training and consultancy services to interested youth and women, who want to learn the trade. 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.

The High-level team also met with the Adansi South District Assembly at New Edubiase and the Danwomanse community members to discuss how UNCDF has worked with them to provide climate resilient infrastructure such as culverts, feeder roads and boreholes.

The High-level delegation wrapped up day one at Kwame Adjei, where they were hosted by Adom Oil Farms Co-operative, who have received training and grants from both SNV and UNCDF, and launched their new processing centre for processing palm fruit into unadulterated cooking oil with the Delegation.

The Cooperative, initially received individual training from UNCDF under its Cash for Work (CfW) training and formed a group, later registering as a cooperative to join SNV Ghana’s Opportunities for Youth Employment training. They competed in SNV’s GrEEn Business Plan Competition (which gives grants to micro and small businesses) and won GHS 36,000 to put up a processing centre and purchase equipment to scale up productions and create jobs for youth and women in the community.

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By : Simon opoku Afriyie (Kumasi)

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