The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with COGNOS International, an Ontario-based business intelligence and performance management company, has launched an initiative to create decent sustainable jobs for young people in the country.
Under the ‘Invest for Jobs initiative’, it is expected that about 10,000 jobs would be created, while the working conditions of about 18,000 people in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country would be improved by 2025.
The initiative was funded by the German Government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Meanwhile, the initiative also put together measures to support European and other African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment.
The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under consideration are chosen from different sectors across the country. The sectors include: agribusiness and cosmetics sectors, furniture/wood industry, and fashion/textile.
According to GIZ, the first phase of the initiative will be implemented and managed by COGNOS. Beneficiaries would be provided with capacity building trainings on leadership, international business, design thinking, sales, marketing and financial planning.
The next phase of the programme would be a two-week business trip to Germany with all the 60 companies to create strong partnerships with German counterparts, meet potential business partners, and create a win-win situation for both sides in May and June 2022.
Most Employment Opportunities Come from the Private Sector
In a media engagement, Mr John Duti, the Ghana Team Lead for Invest in Jobs, explained that the choice of SMEs by GIZ was because most of the employment opportunities in the country are largely in the private sector, where SMEs operate.
“The private sector is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. They represent about 85 per cent of businesses and contribute about 70 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (ITC, 2018). It is, therefore, imperative that they are supported to grow and to expand their frontiers by joining the international markets.”Mr John Duti
Mr Duti noted that the exchange programme which is part of the initiative will help to empower young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, and create sustainable and decent employment for others. He added that it will also enable Ghanaian entrepreneurs to become globally competitive, be ambassadors of change in their respective fields, and generate at least 300 jobs by the end of the programme.
Mr Duti tasked beneficiaries to be innovative in using the waste generated from their respective fields to support the climate change agenda and urged them to “begin to learn about how to go green.”
Mr Timo Tekhaus, Head of Operations of COGNOS, expressed his happiness about the initiative to help young Ghanaians.
“We are extremely happy about the initiative and look forward to the programme in Germany by end of May. It will be exciting to see the young Ghanaian entrepreneurs connecting and exchanging with representatives of the German fashion industry in Hamburg and Berlin.”
Mr Johnson Opoku Donkor, the Creative Director of Jonmmo, an indigenous arts and fabric design company, stated that the initiative will position his sector to be globally competitive and create jobs for others.
The Director thus, expressed gratitude to GIZ and COGNOS International for the opportunity and support.