Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana “GrEEn” project, has been launched in Takoradi.
GrEEn, is a four-year project funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and co-implemented by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV).
The project’s overall objective is to contribute to addressing the root causes of irregular migration through green and climate resilient local economic development and to improve prospects of beneficiaries, by increasing access to finance of returning migrants, youth and women in Ashanti and Western Regions.
GrEEn, also aims at supporting job creation in regions of departure, transit and returning migrants in Ghana, creating local financial ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to be green and climate resilient.
Augustine Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development at the launch of GrEEn Programme recalled that “in June 2019, the ministry directed some MMDAs in the Ashanti and Western Regions to prepare for this Programme”.
“The programme aims to address some of the challenges of irregular migration through green and climate resilient local economic development by creating employment and enterprise opportunities in districts which are mostly affected by rapid migration” he said.
He explained that the four year £20m programme seeks to better the lives of returned migrants and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change in six assemblies of Ashanti region namely; Adansi South, Offinso North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Kumawu, Offinso and Ejura Sekyeredumase Municipal Assembly.
The other four assemblies in Western Region he mentioned are, Nzema East, Jomoro, Ahanta West and Wassa Amenfi East.
Mr. Ntim said, as part of efforts towards the GrEEn Programme design, the ministry signed an MoU with the UNCDF on the modalities for the release of financial supports for the MMDAs to execute the programme.
He explained that for a start, each of the participating district assemblies will be allocated an amount of US$40,000.00 based on the respective programme phases to implement cash for work and other intervention arrangement; “the ministry in collaboration with the UNCDF and key Ministries and Agencies and the Regional Coordinating Councils will be providing back-stopping support on the disbursement of the yearly US$40,000.00 grants to the respective MMDAs”.
He indicated that apart from the US$40,000.00, the UNCDF is allocating an additional US$90,000.00 to be disbursed to the 10 MMDAs in the first GrEEn implementation year in response to the emerging challenges of Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“For the success of this programme, I entreat the RCCs and the MMDAs to take special interest and monitor all the activities under the programme to enable us report appropriately at the national level. For this reason, we have allocated some funds from ministry’s annual budget for the RCC’s to monitor and coordinate activities at the regional level” he added.
Angela Yayra Kwashie, UNCDF National Project Coordinator noted that Western Region, is one of the main areas returning migrants are relocating to upon their return, hence the decision to implement the GrEEn project.
She said the attainment of the four GrEEn results will surely require the dedication of all stakeholders.
Anjo van Toorn, SNV Country Director said the programme will create green jobs and green businesses.
“SNV will play a role in bringing the youth, women and returnees to train them, get them good skills so they can be ready for the job market” he added.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister said after the implementation of this programme, at least 5,000 people would have been trained and coached for employability and entrepreneurship.
He encouraged the MMDA’s to take advantage of the opportunities offered for the successful implementation of the project.