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31.01.2006 General News

250,000 jobs provided in last two years - Kufuor

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Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - Government has provided 250,000 jobs over the past two years under programmes of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Road Transport, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Free Zones Programme.

President John Agyekum Kufuor said this in his State of the Nation Address to Parliament in Accra on Tuesday. He noted that the Free Zones Programme alone provided 9,000 full time employments while the Ministry of Road Transport provided work for 83,000 Ghanaians.

He noted that the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment was embarking on a comprehensive youth employment programme in all the districts, which would generate more than 170,000 more jobs by the end of 2006.

The figures, he said, reflected direct jobs created by the public sector, but the multiplier effect made the actual numbers even higher. "Currently, the expansion and diversification of agriculture, especially the mass spraying of cocoa, storage of agriculture produce, agro-processing and marketing all constitute important sources of employment generation."

President Kufuor said strategic industries and infrastructure like Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), a new oil refinery to be built in Takoradi, West Africa Gas Pipeline, rehabilitation of Ghana Railways and investment in the mines and the airlines, as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) were all enhancing employment opportunities within the country.