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08.04.2004 Regional News

Over 2000 trainees acquire employable skills

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Widana (U/E), April 8, GNA - Two thousand and eighty trainees from the Upper East, Volta and Central regions have benefited from the Ghana Skills Acquisition Programme (GHASAP) initiated by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Madam Hawa Yakubu.

Out of the number, more than 2,000 are female adults who hitherto were unemployed but have now established their own businesses and are contributing to the national development effort.

The project coordinator of GHASAP, Mr. Abdulai Tanimu, made these disclosures at the weekend during the passing-out ceremony of another batch of 122 beneficiaries, including 12 disabled persons, at Widana in the Bawku East District.

Trainees were taken through a two-week intensive course in dressmaking, soap making, cosmetics, batik tie-and-dye and hairdressing among others, after which they were presented with working equipment and seed capital to start their own businesses.

The Programme, which is being run on a pilot basis in the regions is co-sponsored by Mrs. Mary Odili, wife of the Governor of Rivers State of Nigeria, and the Fiona Ebert's Economic Support Programme of Canada.

Mr. Tanimu said any meaningful development in society could only come about through a sustained programme of empowerment of the rural dwellers through the acquisition of employable skills.

He said GHASAP placed emphasis on human resource development as a step towards poverty reduction, especially in the rural areas, to enable the people to contribute meaningfully to economic development.

Mr. Tanimu urged other non-governmental organisations to complement government's efforts in the provision of facilities and assistance to the rural poor to bridge the widening gap between rural and urban dwellers. Madam Hawa Yakubu, in a speech read on her behalf, said the quest for political positions in society should be demonstrated through self-denial so as to improve the general welfare of the poor.

She observed that leadership with the intent to amass wealth while the people lived in poverty and misery should be discouraged, adding, " leadership is meant to sacrifice to make the quality of life of the people better."

The chief of Widana, Naba Ibrahim Alale expressed gratitude to the MP and her team of trainers for assisting the people of the area to earn a decent living.

He urged the trainees to make good use of the opportunity for their own benefit and that of society.

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