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GrEEn Project Ignites Job Boom for Ghana’s Youth, Women

6,000 Jobs Created in Ashanti, Western Regions Through Initiative

by Adenike Adeodun

The GrEEn project, an ambitious initiative by the SNV Netherlands Development Organization, has made significant strides in transforming the economic landscape of Ghana’s Ashanti and Western Regions. Launched in 2019 and concluding in March 2024, this project has emerged as a beacon of hope, creating approximately 6,000 self-employment opportunities for women and youth, thereby fostering a climate-resilient local economy and enhancing employability and entrepreneurship.

This groundbreaking initiative was co-funded by the European Union in Ghana and the Netherlands Embassy, with further support from the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development. The project’s primary aim was to invigorate the local economies of the two beneficiary regions through sustainable development practices, simultaneously addressing the challenges of irregular migration by providing viable economic opportunities at home.

Megan Ritchie, the Managing Director of SNV, shared these accomplishments during a closing session in Accra. Ritchie’s report illuminated the project’s multifaceted achievements, including the training and coaching of 6,214 individuals, equipping them with essential employability and entrepreneurship skills. This training has been a cornerstone of the project, preparing participants to thrive in a competitive, green economy.

The GrEEn project’s impact extended beyond training, as 4,031 individuals successfully created or enhanced their self-employment ventures, illustrating the tangible outcomes of the initiative. To further support the growth of these microbusinesses, the project facilitated access to finance, disbursing over €160,000 to 72 microbusinesses, including 14 cooperatives. This financial injection, distributed through the GrEEn Business Plan Competitions in 2021 and 2022, underscored the project’s commitment to fostering a supportive ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the project placed a significant emphasis on formal recognition and certification, with 819 service recipients undergoing assessments. More than 500 beneficiaries were awarded national proficiency certificates by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service, validating their skills and enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial prospects.

The overarching goal of the GrEEn Project was not only to stimulate local economic development but also to mitigate the root causes of irregular migration. By creating sustainable employment and business opportunities in sectors poised for growth, the project aimed to offer young men and women viable alternatives to migration, encouraging them to contribute to their local economies instead. This approach reflects a deeper understanding of the migration issue, recognizing that economic empowerment and sustainable development are key to addressing the challenges associated with migration.

The GrEEn project has set a precedent for how targeted developmental initiatives can transform communities, strengthen local economies, and address global challenges such as climate change and migration. Its success stories are a testament to the potential of green and climate-resilient economic models to create lasting impact.

As the project wraps up, its legacy is evident in the thousands of lives it has touched and the robust economic foundations it has helped build. The initiative’s holistic approach, focusing on skill development, financial support, and certification, has equipped beneficiaries with the tools they need to succeed in a green economy.

Looking ahead, the lessons learned from the GrEEn project offer valuable insights for future initiatives. The successful integration of climate resilience into economic development, coupled with a strong emphasis on skill development and financial support, can serve as a blueprint for similar projects globally.

The GrEEn project stands as a shining example of international cooperation, with the European Union, the Netherlands Embassy, and the Ghanaian government coming together to support a sustainable future for the Ashanti and Western Regions. As these communities continue to reap the benefits of the project, the GrEEn initiative will be remembered as a pivotal step towards a more sustainable and prosperous Ghana.

Source: Graphic Online

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