Hon Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the MP for Ellembelle Constituency in the Western Region, has launched a program called ‘Skills-Up Ellembelle’, a youth entrepreneurship training and empowerment programme.
The initiative of the lawmaker, who doubles as the Deputy Minority Leader, largely targets about 6000 youth already in skills training to help them complete their training and also ensure a group entrepreneurship startup support.
The over GH¢2 million investment project which was started for the past 2 years seeks to offer comprehensive skills training in a wide range of hands-on trades, including mechanics, carpentry, electricals, welding, masonry (building and construction), hairdressing, and fashion design, over the next one year with startup support.
Speaking at the launching event at Ampain in the Ellembelle District,Hon Emmanuel Armarh-Kofi Buah said the initiative is to help address the increasing unemployment in the district.
The vision and common goal is to empower over 1000 youth in the district and equip them with the requisite skills to shape their future in every year.
According to him, youth unemployment has become a national security issue, as recently announced by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
“This point was further amplified in the Ghana 2022 Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) Third Quarter Labour Statistics by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) released on May 3, 2023, which found that about 1.76 million persons were unemployed in the third quarter of 2022 alone.
“In our own district, figures for youth unemployment are estimated at about 50%. These alarming figures for unemployment pose a security risk to all stakeholders.
“In this vein, we are launching the Skills-Up Ellembelle programme aimed at recruiting and training thousands of young people in various skills, empowering them with the entrepreneurial management skills they need, and following up with the financial support they need to establish their own businesses,” he said.
The four times unopposed MP for Ellembelle Constituency said that, although he has since 2012 and beyond initiated some skills training programs, what is unique about the Skills-Up Ellembelle Initiative is its strategic approach to largely target youth who will stay to complete the program and attract startup capital.
“We have learned lessons from our past experiences that will guide this new program. For example, we are prioritizing those who voluntarily took the first step to start a craft.
“Secondly, we are also going to put them in groups to register and establish their own businesses, give them additional training in enterprise management, and support them in collaboration with other stakeholders to provide funding support to expand their businesses,” he noted.
He added that the initiative is not only interested in just training but also in positioning the youth to attract business.
“These trades have been carefully selected based on their demand in the local market and their potential for job creation. Our ultimate goal is to benefit about 1,000 aspiring youth in the Ellembelle constituency through this life-changing initiative to help them become job creators rather than job-seekers.
“Through “Skill-Up,” we envision fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and driving economic growth, enabling our youth to seize opportunities and contribute meaningfully to our society. In addition to the training, our mechanism will ensure collaboration among participants, leading them to establish enterprises or companies capable of drawing in funds and support,” he added.
Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, as a show of his commitment, handed over payments covering the training initiative to the various master trainers at the launching event.
The development oriented politician since his leadership as MP in 2009 has fetched developmental projects to his constituency and the country at large.
He has constructed over 36 Chp centers in his constituency and has also seen to the construction of many schools in his area.
As a former Energy Minister, he connected many communities in the country to the National Gride which helped to increase access to rural electrification in Ghana.
He has also constructed many roads in his area which has made vehicular movement very accessible.
Hon Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah ,born 1966 is a Ghanaian politician who has served in the government of Ghana as Minister of Energy and Petroleum since 2013.