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EU expresses satisfaction with GESP project

European Union New.png European Union

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

The European Union (EU) has expressed satisfaction with successes attained so far under the Ghana Employment and Social Protection (GESP) project being implemented in five regions of the country.

The three-year project (2018-2020) under a 31.6 million Euro grant from the EU aims at contributing to inclusive and equitable growth in Ghana by strengthening social protection and employment systems, particularly for the youth in the country.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGSCP), Office of the Head of Local Government Service (OHLGS) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), and some agencies are implementing the project expected to end this year, save an extension from the donor partner.

Briefing journalists in Accra on the impact of the project since it was rolled out in 2018, the Head of Co-operation of the EU delegation to Ghana, Zoltan Agai, outlined achievements made under components of the project in the area of capacity building, infrastructural development, business expansion, technical and vocational education training (TVET) and job needs assessment among others.

“More than 500 staff members of the MELR, TVET Institutions and subvented Agencies have increased their capacities by benefitting from a variety of trainings and on-the-job coaching among others. Three sector skills bodies in Agriculture, Construction, Tourism and Hospitality were established to promote demand-driven TVET and public-private exchanges."

“Also, more than 20 agribusinesses have been supported to expand their operations in European and sub-regional markets and substantial support has been provided to civil society partners for the promotion of social accountability,” he stated.

The Head of Co-operation underscored the need for creating decent jobs, adequate skills development and effective social schemes to boost sustainable and inclusive growth in every country, adding that but for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), more progress would have been attained under the programme.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly re-confirmed the need for more effective support systems for vulnerable groups to facilitate access to jobs and to social services and has also reiterated the need for targeted support to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to boost a faster recovery and expansion in new markets,” he said.

Head, EU/Europe/Americas Unit of the Ministry of Finance, Ebenezer Nortey, thanked the EU for its support in combating COVID-19, promoting job creation and complementing government efforts in expanding social protection interventions and bridging the poverty gap in the country.

He called on beneficiary agencies to do their utmost best to be efficient and effective in meeting the project deliverables by ensuring that objectives were fully achieved.

Mr. Nortey appealed to the EU to consider extending the duration of the project which suffered setback due to the impact of COVID-19 so that targets under the project could be fully executed.

For his part, the Chief Director of the OHLGS, James Oppong Mensah, disclosed that about 600 people had been identified in the implementing regions to be provided with decent jobs in the next phase of the project.

He called for stronger and closer co-operation of all stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of the project were achieved.

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh
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