Canadian NGO launches five-year project to impact 5,000 women in Ghana

Accra, July 24, GNA - World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a Canadian non-profit organisation, has launched a five-year project, to provide support and promote sustainable pathways for young women in Ghana.

The project dubbed: “Innovation in Non-Traditional Vocational Education and Skills Training” (INVEST) seeks to impact 5,000 young women in three major cities in Ghana.

The cities are: Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra.

In April 2021, Global Affairs Canada awarded a CAD $8.5 million grant to WUSC to deliver the INVEST initiative to promote sustainable pathways and enhance the economic empowerment, well-being, and inclusive growth of 5,000 urban poor young women in Ghana.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Mr Appiah Boakye, INVEST Project Director, expressed excitement about the prospect of the project.

“WUSC is excited about the opportunity that INVEST provides, to strengthen and connect TVET system actors on both the supply and demand side of the labour market, to holistically address how community, industry and training providers can encourage and nurture women to take up lucrative skilled work that will lead to greater economic prosperity for young women and ultimately mother Ghana,” he said in a statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

The five-year collaborative initiative (2020-2025) seeks to specifically INVEST in women, institutions, and the labour markets of high-growth, male-dominated trades.

The statement said the goal was to empower women with sustainable skills, reduce gender-specific barriers and increase the contribution of women to achieve economic growth in Ghana through a threefold multi-dimensional approach.

This include; strengthening existing apprenticeship programmes and expanding opportunities for young girls to access formal and informal apprenticeship programmes through institutions and the private sector and enticing private sector to support young women’s entry into the sector.

It is also for them to build the business acumen of female graduates and entrepreneurs and outreach and sensitisation at the community, industry, institutional and national levels around the inclusivity of women within male-dominated trade areas.

It explained that through the INVEST initiative, WUSC would utilise an inclusive market systems approach to strengthen the capacity of a diverse array of TVET stakeholders to support women trainees, graduates, artisans and entrepreneurs in male-dominated trades.

The statement said it would leverage on partner expertise, where WUSC would work alongside ABANTU for Development, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, Ghana Chamber of Construction and Industry and Women in Law and Development.

It will also engage other institutions like Self-Search Ghana, Commission for TVET, Farm Radio International, Lyme Haus Solutions and National Vocational Training Institute, to improve the functionality of system actors within the TVET system to deliver market-relevant and gender-sensitive training and support services to young women.

“...The plan to strategically partner with the private sector will accelerate the achievement and bring systemic impact to INVEST female employment and entrepreneurship agenda.”

He said that was because the private sector had innovation, expertise, resources, extensive networks and capabilities, which they could bring through entrepreneurship and market-based solutions that had the potential to achieving scale and sustainability in tackling systemic gender-based challenges in the non-traditional TVET sector.