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19.06.2005 General News

US State Department to empower Ghanaian women


Accra, June 19, GNA-The US State Department is funding an entrepreneurial training programme that will empower Ghanaian women economically to contribute towards national development.

The US-based Centre for Advanced Study of International Development, the School of Social work of the Michigan State University and the Department of Social work of the University of Ghana, (UG), Legon are implementing the project.

Dr Stephen Ayidiyah, Head of the Department of Social Work, UG, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra at the weekend.

He said the Ministries of Women and Children's Affairs, Manpower Youth and Employment and the National Board for Small-scale Industries would be the strategic partners in the execution of the scheme due to the crucial roles they play in the development of women and the youth. Dr Ayidiyah said the plan would provide a framework for developing training skills to increase the participation of Ghanaians, especially women and youth in the work force and support them in developing and maintaining micro-enterprises.

He said the project beneficiaries would be exposed to micro-entrepreneurial businesses techniques, how to formulate business plans and keep track of finances, hiring and managing of employees as their businesses progress and to be self-reliant.

Dr Ayidiyah explained that the long-term focus would include the mobilisation of women self-help groups, workers organisations and networks engaged in promoting women workforce development and entrepreneurship.

The project also seeks to assist women to incorporate their traditional knowledge and experiences into micro-entrepreneurial activities.

Dr Ayidiyah said the scheme would enhance collaboration and cooperation among government and stakeholders for the establishment of sustainable programme for the promotion of business development among women and the youth and other vulnerable people in the country.

Dr Stephen Ayidiyah noted that the role of the Department of Social Work of UG and social workers in particular in women and youth development in the country was indispensable.

He said social workers played a crucial role in the training of people to establish, operate and maintain small-scale businesses. Dr Ayidiyah said the experts treat the trainees amicably, using the social network available to the target groups to ensure the success and sustainability of projects.

He said a Ghanaian delegation made up of women entrepreneurs, representatives of the UG, University of Development Studies and the collaborating ministries, visited the US to study the application of social work in development, to enable them to effectively apply such strategies in women and youth development in Ghana.

Dr Ayidiyah said after the second phase of the project, "We hope to establish a strong network of agencies and firms that will carry forward effective and sustainable entrepreneurship training programme for women, based on the social work approach."

He said the Social Work Department of the UG would be organising a two-week training programme for the beneficiaries, commencing on Monday, June 20.