Germany’s support enhances employment promotion in Bono raegions

German Development Cooperation
Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Baffour Awuah, third from left, addressing the stakeholders

German Development Cooperation in Ghana in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, officially launched their project ‘Capacity Building for the Labour Department on Migration and Employment Promotion in Bono, Bono East and Ahafo’. The project is set to enhance employment promotion, migration counselling and reintegration support services provided by Public Employment Centres in the three regions.

The official launch and stakeholder engagement workshop were attended by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah; the Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene; the Ahafo Regional Minister, George Yaw Boakye; the Head of German Cooperation, Dorothee Dinkelaker; and the GIZ Country Director, Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, as well as other pertinent stakeholders.

The event served to present the project to the public and bring together actors from the educational, private, administrative, civil society, media and academic sectors to engage and forge alliances to tackle unemployment challenges jointly. The project is funded by the German government with an overall budget of €3million.

The main goal of this joint project is to support and equip the Regional Labour Offices and Public Employment Centres (PECs) of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions to become well-equipped, sustainable, and effective operation units that can provide advisory services, counselling, career guidance; as well as implement active labour market interventions for the local population, potential (labour) migrants and returning migrants.

In delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Awuah, charged the youth of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo to seize the opportunity being provided by this project. He encouraged the youth to venture into entrepreneurship, thereby creating their own businesses and realising their unique ideas.

In his words: “The Bono project is of utmost importance, because it will create an opportunity for returning migrants to access local opportunities for reintegration and further strengthen the region for implementation of interventions relating to labour migration and employment promotion”. He added that government is aware of the vast opportunities that exists for jobs, skills transfers,and revenue mobilisation for the country.

The Head of the German Cooperation, Ms. Dinkelaker, highlighted that job creation and employment promotion – particularly for the youth – is at the core of German-Ghanaian cooperation; and to this end she welcomed the broad engagement of stakeholders as an essential prerequisite.

On her part, the GIZ Ghana Country Director, Ms. Barbosa, emphasised that to address the root cause of irregular migration it is key to address job creation and employment promotion challenges. She reiterated that to this end GIZ has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, in the course of which 60.000 employment promotion measures have already been provided.

The Bono Regional Minister, Ms. Owusu-Banahene, also highlighted the common communal challenge of irregular migration in the erstwhile Brong Ahafo Region, and emphasised her keenness to readily discuss and strategise in a bid to tackle the common plight. She further pledged her unwavering support for the project.

The second day of the event saw reports and studies presented on an evaluation of the labour market and stakeholder situation in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, as well as on public perception of the Labour Department.

These studies will serve as crucial contribution to an informed discussion on capacitating the employment promotion structures in the regions and identifying relevant priorities. The workshop proved that there is great potential for the stakeholder and partner system in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, which can be tapped into to create jobs and economic prospects for the youth. The official launch and stakeholder engagement infused novel perspectives and active partnerships into this system.

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