Ten artisans have been awarded more than GH¢50,000 grants by the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Development (YIEDIE), after upgrading their vocational skills at Anaji in the Western Region.
They were given the grants based on a critical assessment of their business plans, site visitation and viability of their plans.
The 10 beneficiaries, including a woman, went through various apprenticeships in the areas of carpentry, electrical, training in interior and exterior decoration, masonry, welding and fabrication, steel bending and fiberglass among others, during the vocational training.
YIEDIE, is a five-year project aimed at creating economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector, and it is being implemented by Global Communities in partnership with MasterCard Foundation (both are international NGOs).
Mr. Abdul Salam Mohammed, YIEDIE Project Coordinator with the Global Communities, according to a GNA report, said the six consortium of partners made up of Opportunity Industrialisation Centre, HFC Boafo, Youth Employment Synergy, Global Communities, Artisans Association of Ghana and AABN were working together to ensure that Ghanaian youths acquired integrated life skills, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to make them independent members of the society.
He said the YIEDIE project was currently being run in five cities; Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ashiaman and Tema and targets 113,000 youths between the ages of 17 and 23 who are unemployed and lived on less than two US dollars a day.
Mr. Mohammed said the project applied an integrated, youth-led market systems model to improve the capacity of youth and service providers across the value chain adding, “At least 9000 youths will receive the training that they need to become entrepreneurs in the construction sector”.
He said the project is expected to increase employment opportunities, increase incomes and access to financial products.
Mr. Mohammed expressed worry that the youths in the metropolis had not taken full advantage of the project to change their social status.
Mr. Lawrence Ankomah, from the HFC Boafo Unit, advised them to use the grant wisely to improve their lot adding, “Just assume that you took the money as a loan with 27 percent interest rate…make the necessary savings to ensure business growth”.
Ms. Diana Acquah, one of the beneficiaries expressed joy at the support given her by the partners to be self-employed and mentor new ones in the interior and exterior decoration sector.
“I now know how to choose curtains to march room colours, conference halls and churches. I am even overwhelmed by the certificate and financial support given,” she said.