On the 31st of January, 2022, SNV in partnership with Duapa Werkspace, U-HUB and AABN hosted the graduation ceremony of the second Cohort of the GrEEn Incubation programme. This programme was the culmination of a six-month training programme for young entrepreneurs to prepare them for the business world. The ceremony which was held at the Cellibs Innovation Hub at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) was themed “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana”.
Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana – also known as GrEEn – is a four-year joint project from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and SNV. The project is implemented in the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana. GrEEn is funded under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), which European and African partners set up in 2015 to deliver an integrated and coordinated response to irregular migration, forced displacement and diverse causes of instability, including climate change.
The ceremony was graced by the presence of several dignitaries such as the Vice Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun; Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victor Kweku Bonze Micah; the Registrar, Dr. Moses Mclean Abnore; Director for Works and Physical Development, Hon. Kwaw; Director of Finance, Dr. Arhinful and a representative from the Centre for Business and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Kennedy Anim.
In his presentation, the Vice Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun explained that Cellibs is designed to propel entrepreneurial ventures within the university now and beyond 5 years. He said “it is the reason why we signed the MOU last year; it has been our ultimate concern to us as a technical university to develop talents of students to set up their own businesses after school”.
Mrs Adjoa Fordjour from the Western regional office of the FDA regulatory body also made a speech as one of the speakers. In her submission, she touched on FDA registration requirements. She went through the process of labelling requirements of pre-packaged products and cautioned that all products must conform to a label requirement. She further stressed the importance of acquiring a batch number to avoid issues with the FDA and that tags must be on all products. In her conclusion, she admonished the attendees to make their products in a way that will be accepted.
The Dean for the Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies at TTU, Dr. Ramos Asafo-Adjei was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. In his welcoming speech, he mentioned that literature on Green Ghana projects revealed that in a bid to avoid migration to other countries due to natural disasters, they are trying to give people the opportunity to explore their talents and in return getting the necessary support such as coaching to “get you to do what you need to do at the right time”. He expressed his pleasure for the graduates of cohort two for availing and humbling themselves to go through the training, not only for self-gain but to improve upon the employability of the youth within Western Region, which is the focus of the whole initiative.
Dr. Asafo-Adjei stressed that unemployment was one of the issues that has been plaguing Ghanaians over the years. “Over 1000 graduates from various universities are struggling with unemployment with the expectation that writing CVs, letters and sharing them around in a bit to securing jobs is quite absurd. It is important for the youth to learn to be self-sustainable instead of relying on white-collared jobs. Issues of running your own business is timely, going into entrepreneurship is very fundamental; it underpins ways through which you can get to where you want to get a lot of flexibility and allows you to get the necessary funds for the business. Green project is a big opportunity for the youth to take advantage of. Finding ways to go into entrepreneurship is key”. He subsequently encouraged the graduates to endure in their businesses and with the able support of SNV Ghana, Duapa Werkspace U – Hub, a lot of positives will be seen. In concluding, Dr. Asafo-Adjei mentioned that “since the core mandate is to ensure we go into sustainable entrepreneurship, we are initiating a 4-year degree programme on Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Development with Duapa Werkspace being our key partner. We have been working together and looking at ways develop curriculum and other necessary preparation for the initiative to provide students the opportunity to be useful and further advance in wherever they may find themselves.