Eighteen youth from Tema and Kpone in the Greater Accra region who were sponsored to undertake various technical and vocational training courses by the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company, (WAPCo), have each been presented with a set of tools to set up their own businesses.
The beneficiaries undertook courses in Mechanical Engineering, Auto Mechanics, Electricals, Fashion & Design, Welding & Fabrication, Building & Construction Technology, Catering and Hotel Management as well as Plumbing.
Ten of the beneficiaries come from Tema, with the remaining from Kpone. They are Stephen Abbey, Opehlia Kooko Abey, Vincent Okoe Kotey, Elizabeth Ekua Kwakyewaa Asomaning, Grace Korko Sackey, Israel Atsu Kove, Aliyul Adjieteh Okoe, Abraham Amarh Ashitey, Victoria Dede Ollenu, Eric Tetteh Mensah, and Godfred Kwaku Noye.
The rest are Bernice Nyavi, Grace Nuerkie Thompson, Agnes Boatemaa Boateng, Joyce Larteley Addico, Joseph Kojo Qyason, John Nuertey Noye and Daniel Tawiah Nuertey.
Gracing the brief presentation ceremony in Tema were the paramount chiefs of Tema and Kpone respectively, Nii Adjei Kraku II and Nii Tetteh Otu II.
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Mrs Harriet Wereko-Brobby - General Manager, Corporate Affairs at WAPCo explained that the company set up the Community Youth Enterprise Scheme to provide young people in the host communities who have completed basic education but cannot pursue further studies owing to financial constraints the opportunity for them to learn a trade of their choice in recognized technical and vocational training institutions in Ghana.
She said WAPCo had promised the trainees at the beginning of their courses to provide them the tools to start their own businesses if they graduated successfully. The presentation was therefore a fulfillment of that promise, saying this was just the beginning and that more would follow.
“This is just a start, and we are hoping that you will not end here but develop yourselves so that you’re eventually able to offer services to WAPCo and other institutions.”
“As part of efforts to ensure you manage your businesses in a sustainable manner, we will engage the services of professionals to take you through training in the principles of business management. So dear beneficiaries, congratulations again on the successful completion of your various programmes of study. You occupy a very special position in your communities, as standard bearers, WAPCo is counting on you to be the light in your communities and support others who have not been as fortunate as you to benefit from the opportunities given by WAPCo. We expect you to take very good care of the equipment that we are giving you. As you set up your businesses in the communities we are counting on you to train others and become agents of change.”
Mrs Harriet Wereko-Brobby said apart from the tools presented to beneficiaries of the Community Youth Enterprise Scheme who number 108 so far, WAPCo had supported 193 others with scholarships, spending about GHȻ2.5 million in all.
She said only recently, WAPCo similarly presented tools to 55 youths in five host communities in the Aboadze area of the Western region.
The company has also built a clinic in Tema and constructed teachers’ quarters at Kpone.
Nii Adjei Kraku and Nii Tetteh Out counseled the beneficiaries to put the equipment to good use and refrain from selling them. They reminded them that they have a responsibility to set good examples by growing successful businesses out of the opportunities handed them so that WAPCo would not withdraw the support but would be encouraged to hand more opportunities to youth of the area.
They also commended WAPCo for its thoughtfulness, with Nii Adjei Kraku saying supporting technical and vocational education was in the right direction to enhance Ghana’s industrialization, while Nii Out labeled the company as having taken the lead in government’s desire to grow Ghana beyond aid.
Ms Bernice Nyavi, who went through three years training in Fashion and Design at the Tema Technical Institute, on behalf of her colleague beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to WAPCo and promised they would not let the company down in reposing confidence in them, or themselves as their wellbeing and future depends on what they make of themselves.