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Top Netherlands diplomat inspects SNV GrEEn Projects in Ashanti Region

The Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, H.E. Wendy van Meel has completed a two day working tour in the Ashanti region to inspect GrEEn Project’s progress.

She was accompanied by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, in a tour organised by SNV in Ghana and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), co-implementing partners of the GrEEn Project.

The tour also forms part of the collaborative partnership between the government of Ghana and the European Union to promote the growth of Ghana’s circular economy.

The delegation engaged with partners, beneficiaries and stakeholders of the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project.

The tour which started on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 and ended on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, also included the First Secretary at the Netherlands Embassy, Bram Elmer van Opijnen, Team Leader at the Macro Economics, Timothy Dolan and Trade Section of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Marta Brignone.

Others were the Programme Officer at the European Union and Project Manager on the GrEEn Project at the EU, Marta Brignon and the Country Director of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Barbara White Nkoala.

The overall objective of the tour was to showcase the GrEEn Project’s progress, results and lessons learnt, as well receive feedback and recommendations to strengthen GrEEn’s implementation to better consolidate its results.

On Tuesday the team paid a courtesy call to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah at the Regional Coordinating Council and later on head to the Bekwai Municipality to commission Moreplex Company Limited

Moreplex Company Limited, owned by Prince Adjei, is a sustainable business that produces cosmetics from organic and locally sourced materials like aloe vera, cocoa potash and other herbs.

The company also offers skills and livelihood training to youth job seekers in the municipality, and is one of the fifteen awardees of SNV Ghana’s GrEEn Innovation Challenge that received a matching grant of EUR 10,000 from the EU and the Netherlands Embassy under the Project.

The High-level team also met with the Adansi South District Assembly at New Edubiase and the Danwomanse community members to discuss how UNCDF has worked with them to provide climate resilient infrastructure such as culverts, feeder roads and boreholes.

The delegation will also visit Adom Oil Farms, a beneficiary of UNCDF’s Cash for Work training, located in Kwame Adjei in the District.

The business received business advisory support as well as training under SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) programme.

In November 2022, they were part of 51 micro businesses to be awarded matching grants of various amounts, receiving GHS 36,000 to establish a processing centre for their palm-fruit oil operations under SNV and EU’s GrEEn Business Plan Competition.

On Wednesday, the high-level delegation visited Sekyere Kubease to interact with Tahir Taajuddeen Umar, the owner of Tahir Field Recycling- a green business that recycles waste engine oil from heavy-duty machines and vehicles into refined engine oil for reuse.

Tahir Fields Recycling is one of 12 winners of the maiden GrEEn Innovation Challenge in 2021, receiving a matching grant of GHS 100,000 to construct a factory and scale up production from the European Union and SNV.

The team rounded up their tour in the Ashanti region at a visit to Women’s Haven Africa, a hub partner of the GrEEn Project’s Incubation Programme at Asokwa in the Asokwa municipality.

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, after the tour expressed satisfaction and the thanked the SNV for the support given to Ghanaian individuals and enterprises.

Hon Ignatius Baffour-Awuah thanked the Netherland government for encouraging the Ghanaian youth through the innovative support offered, thereby, giving them employment to sustain their livelihoods.

Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, H.E. Wendy van Meel, in her remarks was impressed by the results accomplished under the GrEEn project, especially employment opportunities created in the youth.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2020, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is supporting the implementation of the project in the field at regional level (for activities leading to job fairs) and district level through the Public Employment Centre (for internship, P2P and job opportunities for youth).

SNV is also providing technical assistance to support the creation and promotion of green jobs in Ghana: with a focus in the Ashanti and Western regions and supporting the Green Jobs Strategy, a key priority for the EU, in line with the EU-Ghana Joint Programming Document 2021-2027.

Source: Ghana/ Opoku Afriyie

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