The government through the Education Ministry is considering offering a grant to bamboo, cane and the rattan industry in the country to boost their trade for both the local market and for export.
The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, who announced this explained that the grant which is under the Ghana Skills Development Fund (GSDF), would be in the form of training to sharpen their skills and how to promote their operations.
He explained that the move which will be done under the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) is also looking at absorbing their business as one of the trade models of study in TVET institutions.
Dr Adutwum announced this last Friday when he visited the workshop of the bamboo, cane and rattan weavers at Cantonment in Accra to interact with them.
The visit was aimed at giving them first-hand information on plans by the government to help them access the grant.
The GSDF is aimed at addressing the skills and technological needs of the enterprise in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Dr Adutwum announced that, a team of experts would soon meet the leadership of the craftspersons and discuss how best they could sign up for the grant.
He indicated that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government was doing everything possible to create an enabling environment to ensure that businesses in the country boom to support local and international trade.
The Education Minister stated that the grant when given would go a long way to create jobs for hundreds of people within the value chain and their dependents from the raw material business to the non-traditional export levels of the nation’s economy.
Dr Adutwum lauded the CTVET for sharpening the skills of most Ghanaian youth to make them economically empowered so they can fend for themselves and also contribute towards the development of the nation’s economy.
He hinted at efforts to meet with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Recourses which has oversight responsibility over the Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme (BARADEP), Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and other related institutions to work together to get the best for the sector.
The Chairman of the Bamboo, Cane and Rattan Association, Mr Philip Wosonu, was full of praise for the Minister for the effort to come to their aid to build their capacity and help boost their operations.
He mentioned that connecting their activities to the TVET sector would go a long way for students to do their practical’s with them as well as share ideas with the students.
The Chairman of the Association called on the government to help ease the challenges they face in the transportation of the raw materials from the forest as security officials keep harassing them making it difficult to get raw materials for their operations.
The government through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), 2015 constructed a centre at Ayi Mensah in the Greater Accra Region at a cost of US$416,000 to serve as a permanent abode for the artisans in the Greater Accra Region.
The centre was constructed to help alleviate the plight of the bamboo, cane and rattan artisans in the Greater Accra region.
It must be noted that the construction of the centre was to relocate some of the artisans following the construction of the George Walker Bush (N1) and the Akuapem highways as some of them used to work along the roads.