171 trainees from the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) programme graduated on Thursday, February 25th in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.
The two ceremonies, which were held simultaneously at the West Africa Senior High School in Accra and the GNAT Hall in Sekondi – Takordi, served as a unique opportunity for YIEDIE youth beneficiaries together with YIEDIE training staff, the wider YIEDIE consortium and key community stakeholders to share in a communal celebration of youth excellence.
90 graduates in Accra and 81 graduates in Sekondi – Takoradi were awarded with certificates for successfully completing the YIEDIE training in the areas of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, life skills planning and specific technical expertise.
The chairperson for the Sekondi – Takoradi ceremony, Mr Mohammed. B. Ali, commended YES-Ghana and Global Communities for the great initiative. He recognised the fact that the programme will keep a good number of youth off the streets, reduce the burden on parents and also curb the high level of social vices, such pilfering, sports betting and teenage pregnancy.
Honourable Daniel Owusu, Assembly man for Teiman, who chaired the ceremony in Accra, urged YIEDIE beneficiaries to continue to make useful life decisions such as enrolling on to the programme and gaining lifetime skills provided by YIEDIE.
The Community Leader for Avenor, Mr Jonathan Addy, who was also present, shared his experience in the construction sector with the YIEDIE graduates. He stressed the importance of taking advantage of priceless opportunities such as YIEDIE in order to become useful young people in their various communities. He encouraged them to plan wisely, save money and invest into their future.
Mr. Justice Oduro Mensah, the key speaker at the ceremony in Takoradi, also encouraged the graduates to follow their aspirations. He stated in his address that most construction contracts in the country have been executed by expatriates and urged the graduating class to think about starting small construction businesses as a substitute to working for others. Mr. Oduro Mensah said “This will help you to compete with the foreign companies in the nearest future”.
The ceremonies were attended by YIEDIE training beneficiaries, friends and families of graduates, YIEDIE Consortium partner representatives, YES-Ghana core staff, YIEDIE Trainers and Training Assistants, Governmental Agencies, District Assembly Members, community assembly members, master craftspeople and apprentices in the construction sector.
YIEDIE is creating economic opportunities for youth ages 17-24 in Ghana’s construction sector by training young women and men in technical construction skills and helping youth to grow and start small businesses. The programme is being implemented over 5 years in 5 of Ghana’s largest cities: Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Tema and Ashaiman.
YIEDIE is being implemented by Global Communities, Youth Empowerment Synergy, OICG, African Aurora Business Network, Artisans Association of Ghana and HFC-Boafo. It is part of the Youth Forward Initiative in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation.
The Youth Forward Initiative is focused on transitioning economically disadvantaged young people to find quality employment or start their own businesses.