The Senior Minister, Hon. Ing. Yaw Osafo-Maafo with the Italian Prime Minister, H.E. Prof. Giuseppe Conte jointly inaugurated an agri-business Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) center at Kyeremasu, Dormaa East in the Bono Region on Thursday, 28th November, 2019.
The TVET project was built by Eni Ghana, an oil exploration and production company and named as the “Okuafo Pa Agri-Business Center” with the capacity to train 800 youth in crops and livestock production. The center is designed to provide a diversified agricultural development and entrepreneurship to the teaming youth in Dormaa East and other communities.
In his address, the Senior Minister said, “Ghana is basically an agrarian economy having large tracks of land suited for various crops and good vegetation for rearing various breeds of animals. However, we have not done enough in adding value to our primary produce especially in the area of agribusiness”. He added that the country has paid lip service to the TVET sector and have not moved away from the colonial model of education which the focus being more on grammar and clerical skills over technical and vocational set of competence.
Hon. Osafo-Maafo clearly indicated that His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana recognizes that many of the Asian Tigers such as Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea took the fundamental decisions to transform their economies from production of raw materials for export to value-added and industrial economies.
Senior Minister mentioned that as Chairman of the TVET Committee, review has been done on the entire TVET sector and reports were submitted to Cabinet. As part of the review of the TVET sector, a 5-year strategic plan was developed which has been approved by Cabinet. According to Hon. Osafo-Maafo, the strategic plan involves the setting up of TVET Service and TVET Council with whole division designated to technical and vocational education being managed by Director General. Again, as part of the implementation process of the TVET reforms; 20 TVET institutions to be equipped with modern equipment is being developed; a comprehensive skill-gap analysis in close collaboration with Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to develop a curriculum and training content to meet real needs of industry; and all TVET schools being part of the free SHS policy has been initiated.
The Senior Minister acknowledged the positive initiative by Eni Ghana as part of their corporate social responsibility and the Italian Government for establishing this training facility to train 800 youth in areas of agribusiness and entrepreneurship. He further indicated that this project will engender economic activities and provide employment opportunities in the crops and livestock sector through capacity building; improving technical skills; supporting access to market and general development of the communities in the catchment area of the facility.
Hon. Osafo-Maafo also acknowledged an indigene of Dormaa who happens to be working with Eni Ghana, Paul Twum Barima as the Stakeholder Engagement Co-ordinator for this Project whose collaborative effort with his directors at Eni Ghana has led to establishment of this TVET Project being commissioned at his hometown. He advised him to be a good Ambassador of both Dormaa and Ghana.
Also present at the commissioning of the project were; Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah; Italian Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Giovanni Favilli; the Bono Regional Minister, Madam Evelyn Kumi Richardson, other Ministers of State and Member(s) of Parliament, Districts Chief Executives; Board Members, CEO of SpA, Claudio Descalzi, Managing Director of Eni Ghana, Roberto Daniele; Vice Chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso and staff of KNUST; the Kontihene of Dormaa and Traditional Authorities from the Dormaa Area among others.