Ms Anna Armo-Himbson, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), has expressed concern over the involvement of the youth, especially the males, in betting and illegal mining in the Ellembele District as against learning positive life skills.
She said the search in communities fr the youth to learn some skills or trade always produced more females than males and called on the young men to develop interested in skills acquisition than engage in illegal mining, which was not sustainable.
Ms Armo-Himbson told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony for some 935 people in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region under the livelihood empowerment project.
The project, carried out in partnership with Eni Ghana, Vitol, and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, is a two-year integrated development intervention aimed at providing entrepreneurship, financial literacy and technical skills among others to the youth in the district.
This falls under the Economic Diversification Building Business Project.
She said the Economic Diversification Building Business Project targeted women, youth, and marginalised communities.
The communities include Sanzule, Krisan, Eikwe, Bakanta, Atuabo, Anokyi, Asem-nda, Ngalekpole, Ngalekyi and Baku in the Ellembelle District.
The project had chalked many successes to reduce poverty and address the many socio-economic challenges in the catchment area of Eni Ghana, an oil and gas company.
The beneficiaries received entrepreneurship and business management, occupational safety, health, and environmental management training.
Others are compliance and regulatory support, technical skills training, branding, and packaging, and 21 were assisted to formalise their businesses with the Registrar General’s Department.
The graduation ceremony celebrated the accomplishments and resilience of the beneficiaries who successfully completed their apprenticeship and advanced technical skills programmes.
Mr. Kwasi Bonzo, Ellembelle District Chief Executive, expressed enthusiasm about the training and advised the beneficiaries to value the skills acquired “as their share of the oil monies.”
“It is not for free that these companies are investing in human development in the district, actually, it is your share of the resources so never let this investment become wasted,” he said.
Mr. Bonzo mentioned a 40 million investment in schools in the area by the Eni company and other such interventions to improve the lifestyle of the people.
“These examples of Eni Ghana are what we really need from investors …our resources should be a blessing and catalyst for change in communities where they are located”.
The District Chief Executive believed that the huge involvement of women in the project would help to reduce dependency on the males and create an empowered society.
Mr. Baluri Kassim Bukari, Local Content and Sustainability Director, Eni Ghana, said: “We have not only come here to pump gas but also to better the lives of our operational communities.”
He said the training would create jobs, end unemployment, and reduce migration by community members to other cities.The company would continue to invest in other sectors of the local economy in line with good corporate governance systems, he said.