Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has officially dispatched 100 youth as the second cohort under the Youth in Export Programme (YiEP) to begin mentorship training.
The YiEP seeks to attract youths into agricultural and arts and craft value chains, as part of a broader plan to grow the country’s export earnings. The training is to prepare them for the export market with two main goals: assisting in bridging the wide unemployment gap in Ghana, and providing an avenue for the youth to earn decent incomes and contribute toward increasing the country’s export earnings.
These goals are geared toward attaining the targetted US$25.3billion in Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) by the year 2029, in the context of implementing the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).
Deputy Chief Executive Officer-GEPA, Samuel Dentu, indicated that the six-month training programme is meant to ensure participants are equipped with the necessary hands-on experience to meet export market requirements.
“We are posting 100 trainees to mentors across the Eastern, Central, Volta, Northern, and Upper East Regions. The trainees comprise 55 men and 44 women who are going to be trained in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, cashew and shea processing, as well as arts and crafts.
“We believe that programmes such as the YiEP will no doubt quicken the pace of achieving desired results at the end of the day,” he said.
The first YiEP cohort was also the pilot, comprising 16 men and 4 women who were posted to mentors across the Eastern, Central and Volta Regions to be trained in the production of pineapple, papaya and an assortment of Asian vegetables.
All 20 are now successful export producers, with their mentorship organisations being the off-takers.
Just as with the first 20 cohorts, after completing the training GEPA will provide an acre of land and inputs – including seeds, fertiliser, pesticides and irrigation facilities – to assist beneficiaries cultivate their respective crops under supervision of their mentors, who also serve as buyers of their harvested produce.
“The first-phase’s successful implementation is what has led to the birth of the second phase,” he added
The deputy-CEO also mentioned that the YiEP is working with USAID through the Ghana Trade and Investment Programme (GTI), and will soon receive some grant funding from the GTI for the programme’s sustainability.
One of the participants, Ricard Soh – speaking on behalf of his colleagues, indicated that the group is committed to making the best out of the programme.
“Just like myself, all my colleagues are ready and well-prepared to put to good use the equipment we have been given and all the support we will receive to make sure we come back from the training ready to start our own export journey and create employment,” he added.
All the 100 members were presented with protective gear and other tools that will aid their learning on the field.