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President Mahama Pledges Jobs   
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President John Dramani Mahama says his administration is poised to expand the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) programme from the current 100,000 threshold to 400,000, should he be given the nod to continue managing Ghana’s economy.

President Mahama, who disclosed this at the official inauguration  of the Accra Digital Centre last week, said he wanted to increase funding for the YES Initiative from a total of GH¢10 million to GH¢100 million.

Currently, he said about 100 young entrepreneurs have been supported through the YES initiative to set up or expand their own businesses; and they employ at least three young people each. He also promised “green revolution and diversification of Ghana’s agriculture through production of more staple and cash crops. This will increase coffee production from 6,000 metric tonnes to 100,000 metric tonnes and it is already underway.”

The Accra Digital Centre has been designed to comprise 12 large ultramodern Grade A Plug and Play sheds each with the capacity to accommodate 350 workers in three separate shifts. “At full throttle this ultramodern centre can in fact, create 12,600 direct jobs,” he said.

He enumerated some investments in Ghana over the last four years, including the US$7 billion ENI Sankofa project. He said that would further open up the oil and gas sector and create jobs in addition to the 5,000 Ghanaians employed in that value chain.

“In the last four years, a total of 69 companies have registered and set up under the Free Zones Board. These companies have invested a total of over US$1 billion (US$ 1,080,771,488) and currently employ 21,354 workers right here in Ghana,” the president said.

 Another Inauguration Soon

“In a few weeks, I will be inaugurating a tile factory built by the latest company to be set up under the Free Zones – Wangkang Ceramics Ghana Limited – in Eshiem in the Western Region. This factory has been built at a cost of US$60 million and is set to employ 1,500 people to man three production lines in order to produce 40 million square feet of tiles every year,” he indicated.

In all, President Mahama said government projects have provided job opportunities and will provide further job opportunities for thousands at the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Komenda Sugar Factory, Buipe Shea Factory, Elmina Fish Processing Plant, among others.

Private Sector

“We have also, extended direct support to the private sector in order to facilitate job creation. In the last four years, a total of GH¢400 million has been given directly to private companies and organisations under EDAIF support and the Skills Development Fund. Here too, 4,000 jobs are estimated to be created through this policy

“Between 2009 and 2016, a total of 78,000 teachers have been engaged while 23,411 nurses have been employed since 2014. The new schools and hospitals we have built around the country guarantee teachers and nurses and other workers employment,” he underscored.

He continued that a cursory look at the September 2015, ‘Integrated Business Establishment Survey’ released by the Ghana Statistical Service, which showed that in 2014 alone a total of 207,492 jobs were created in three sectors – agriculture, industry and services – with the private sector contributing 86.5 percent of the jobs, would bring to the fore the reality on the ground.
Source: Daily Guide

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