The Government of Ghana in partnership with African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched the Post COVID-19 Skills Development and Productivity Enhancement Project (PSDPEP) as part of its post COVID-19 recovery programme.
The project will build health-related skills in higher education, restoration of livelihoods, and the creation of jobs among youth and women.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah in his address in Accra noted that in a post COVID-19 research, “in some areas, jobs to the tune of about 70% of establishment within the informal sector were affected. Three months after, there was recovery of these business but at a slower rate”.
Therefore, the post COVID-19 recovery programme “will translate into more jobs, healthcare and training for citizens”, he added.
The project is funded from a grant facility of US $31.3 million; comprising $28.5million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), and 2.8 million from Government of Ghana. This will be implemented in seven regions of Ghana namely, Greater Accra Region, Ashanti Region, Eastern Region, Bono Region, Northern Region, Central Region, and Upper West.
Mr Baffour-Awuah reassured government’s commitment in ensuring full implementation and cautioned workers, stating that “one of the challenges we do get in the implementation of donor funded projects is that sometimes because it is not part of main programs, our officers [the ministries] see it as a secondary assignment they have to do. So they don’t give priority to it. That is the reason perhaps the reason we do get delays for the implementation of such programs”.
The Desk Head of AfDB at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Kofi Frimpong emphasized that the AfDB is committed to Ghana’s post COVDI-19 recovery programs to alleviate COVID-19 related hardships.
Beneficiaries of the project include the Ghana News Agency, Social Investment Fund, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre, the Biotechnology Centre, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Microbiology Centre.
Others include: Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Vocational Training Institute.
The PSDPEP is a stand-alone operation, the main objective of which is to contribute to Ghana’s Post-Covid-19 recovery through infrastructure development to build health-related skills in higher education, the restoration of livelihoods, and the creation of jobs among youths and women.
It is a skills development project that focuses on infrastructure improvements in higher education for the health sector, technical and entrepreneurial skills, and public communication on health and MSMEs public communication. Its specific objectives are: (i) to develop infrastructure for health-related skills development in higher education (University of Ghana – Legon) and (ii) to promote entrepreneurship and job creation among youths and women operating MSMEs that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic thereby contributing to private sector growth and development.