Business News of 2014-02-14

Skills Development Fund records successes

The Skills Development Fund (SDF), since its inception in 2011, has awarded grants amounting to about GH¢ 24 million to support small, medium and large-scale enterprises, science, training and research institutions in the country.
The grants, which were specifically geared towards the upgrading of skills and acquisition of new and innovative technologies in the informal and formal sectors of the economy, have so far benefited many local businesses and institutions.
SDF project
The SDF is a five-year multi-donor-funded intervention initiated by the Government of Ghana in 2011 to provide critical solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the development of industry, skills and technology.
The project strategically focuses on strengthening the institutional capacity of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to coordinate the delivery of technical and vocational skills and innovative technology required by industry in the country.
With funding from the World Bank and DANIDA, SDF is implemented by the Project Support Unit of COTVET and aims at providing a demand-driven response to challenges faced by the productive sectors of Ghana.
Result forum in Accra
Speaking at the result forum in Accra by stakeholders on the project, the Project Manager, Mr Matthew Dally, said since the inception of SDF, beneficiaries of the grant had begun to enjoy massive growth in their respective businesses.
According to him, although the project encountered challenges at the initial stages, the SDF committee was able to intensify their work to address the issues, paving the way for the current performance.
Minister of Education’s response
The Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku, commended COTVET for the achievement and urged all stakeholders to intensify their efforts to attain the desired objectives of the project.
She said apart from local businesses increasing their productivity, “since the SDF began, over 5,000 jobs had been created”.
According to her, the government’s plan to support local businesses and institutions to grow and attain high productivity remains the primary objective of all the ministries and government agencies.
World Bank
In a speech read on his behalf, the Country Director of World Bank, Mr Yusupha Crookes, said since the SDF was a government reform programme, there was the need for legislative action to mainstream the instrument and to see it supported in the government’s budget framework by the end of the project.
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