A capacity building programme on migration and employment promotion for the Labour Department in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions was launched on Monday in Sunyani, the Bono regional capital.
The project is being implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), Ghanaian – German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC – JMR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR).
It is scheduled to roll-out on four focal areas namely, technical capacity building, infrastructure improvement, employment promotion and awareness raising, and networking for the Labour Departments in the three regions.
The project, scheduled to end in September this year, will equip participants with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) training, project management, migration and advisory, vocational entrepreneurship training, as well as the establishment of migration desks.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, in an address said the initiative would create an environment for returning migrants to access local opportunities for reintegration and strengthen the regions for the implementation of labour and migration related interventions.
“The Government of Ghana is aware of the vast opportunities that exist for jobs, skills transfer and revenue mobilisation in the country. My Ministry is undertaking activities to operationalise this vision,” he noted.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said his outfit would implement the National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP), establish an inter-ministerial technical working group to support the Ministry, implement the Labour Regulation 2020(L.I.2408) and review labour laws.
The Minister added that his outfit had signed Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLAs) with Qatar and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), and would develop guidelines for the export of labour and code of conduct for private employment agencies.
“The ban on recruitment of direct-to-house domestic workers in the gulf regions is still in force until government puts in place measures to address identified challenges,” Mr Baffour-Awuah reiterated.
The Ghana Country Director for GIZ, Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, said many inhabitants of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, especially the youth, struggled to appreciate the beauty and development prospects of their homeland, due to economic hardship.
Mrs Bauerochse indicated that studies had shown that these three regions belong to the most migration-prone areas of Ghana, making it a hub of emigration saying “this project is key to addressing the menace”.
The Country Director emphasised that GIZ-Ghana, on behalf of the German government, remained supportive to the project and implored the workshop participants to be vibrant, result – oriented and committed to make the programme successful.
Mrs Justina Owusu Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, on behalf of the three regions, expressed gratitude to GIZ, MELR and partners for implementing such a ‘game-changing’ project in the area and pledged residents’ readiness to make the project beneficial.
FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, SUNYANI