The British Council has launched a €1.15 million project aimed at providing support for skills development in Ghana's agriculture sector.
The project, which is part of the European Union-funded VET Toolbox initiative and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will be implemented over two years by the British Council in Ghana.
Its objective is to pilot a framework for skilled human resource development within the scope of the Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement (SAPIP) in three regions: Northern, Savannah and North East.
The VET Toolbox project also aims to offer targeted expertise, grant funding, tools, and advice to enhance the effectiveness of national vocational education and training (VET) reforms, which will align with labour market needs and boost youth employability.
Speaking during the launch of the project in Tamale, Mr Nii Doodo Dodoo, British Council Country Director, highlighted that Ghana had already benefitted from short-term technical support from the VET Toolbox in a project jointly delivered by the British Council and GIZ in collaboration with the Fair River International Association for Development, which focused on curriculum development, careers development, and private sector engagement.
According to Mr Dodoo, the early work on the project centres on an opportunities mapping exercise to understand the investment landscape within Ghana and identify where a VET Toolbox project can deliver maximum local benefit.
He also stated that the VET Toolbox project will enhance decent work and inclusive growth by providing people with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Madam Marta Brignone, Programme Officer, Macro-economic and Trade Section of the European Union in Ghana, disclosed that Ghana was one of 11 Sub-Saharan African countries that would benefit from the new pillar of the VET Toolbox.
She added that the VET Toolbox aimed to improve the effectiveness of VET systems by making them more opportunity-driven, turning investments into drivers for inclusive economic growth, social development, and decent job creation.
She highlighted that a consortium of leading European agencies, including the British Council, Enabel (Belgium), GIZ, LuxDev (Luxembourg), AFD (France), and Expertise France, would deliver the project.
Madam Brignone added that the project interventions had so far supported change at the systems level in each of the implementing countries.
The Director of Programmes at the British Council, Mr Solomon Antumwini, explained that the project focused on four thematic areas: evidence-based VET and labour market programming, private sector involvement in VET and labour market activities, increased local benefits from European investments through VET, and skills development.
Mr Abraham Sarfo, Team Leader, VET Toolbox, stressed that collaboration with key local stakeholders was critical to the project's success.
He added that a National Advisory Board of such stakeholders had already been established to ensure that their knowledge and guidance would help ensure the development of a project that was tailor-made to meet the country's skills and job challenges.
Mrs Mawusi Awity, Director-General of Ghana Technical Vocational Education Training Service, advised the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project to involve more women to enhance their capabilities for commercial farming, which would promote food security in the country.
Hajia Hawa Musah, Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, urged the stakeholders of the project to create business opportunities, build the capacity of the youth, and network with organisations and individuals to enhance economic growth.