Empowering Local Economies through Green Jobs and Innovation

“The GrEEn project has brought numerous benefits to the Ashanti Region, including job opportunities for the youth to reduce irregular migration, digital and financial literacy upskilling and climate-resilient infrastructure that benefits our people. We are committed to providing continued support and to further strengthen our partnership as we work towards a greener and more sustainable future for our region”

– Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, when a high-level delegation comprising the European Union and other stakeholders paid a courtesy call on him at the start of a two-day visit to GrEEn project sites

The “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana” (GrEEn) – project implemented by UNCDF and SNV is in its fourth year of implementation. The project has made significant strides in creating sustainable green jobs for youth, women, and returning migrants, while facilitating the transition of local economies towards green and climate-resilient developments in the Ashanti and Western Regions. The four year action is funded by the European Union and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

To assess the project’s progress, results, lessons learnt and receive feedback and recommendations to strengthen implementation and better consolidate results as the projects enters the closing year, UNCDF and SNV organized a two-day field visit for a high-level delegation. The delegation included the Programme Manager, European Union Delegation to Ghana, Marta Brignone, Deputy Ambassador of the kingdom of Netherlands in Ghana, Wendy van Meel, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations in Ghana, Ignatius Barfour-Awuah, representatives from partner ministries and agencies and the leadership of UNCDF and SNV in Ghana.

The visit showcased UNCDF’s support for local economic growth and the creation of short-term job opportunities through the Cash-for-Work initiative. The delegation witnessed the positive impact of climate-resilient projects in Adansi-South, such as the construction of pipe culverts which has reconnected the community to the district capital after their wooden bridge was washed away by flood waters. Additionally, feeder roads in the town have been improved and made accessible. A mechanized borehole in one of the communities also benefits over 23,000 people. These interventions have not only benefited the community but have also empowered its residents.

“Today, we have clean water and do not have to share our water with animals, or wash and perform other household activities in the same water that we fetch to drink”

– a resident of the community

Furthermore, UNCDF’s focus on creating access to finance and driving financial inclusion has made a significant difference in New Edubiase, where over 1700 individuals have already benefited. Through a partnership with a local indigenous banks-Fidelity Bank, UNCDF has utilized a blended approach combining digital tools, innovative digital solutions, and in-person support to facilitate financial inclusion for low-literate individuals, women, youth, and small business owners.

The delegation concluded its activities with a visit to Adom Oil Farms, an oil palm processing center established by a beneficiary of UNCDF’s Cash for Work training and winner of SNV’s GrEEn business plan competition. This center supports job creation within the community and emphasizes women’s empowerment, showcasing the potential of green and innovative businesses.

Sharing her impressions after the visit, Marta Brignone, Programme Manager, European Union Delegation to Ghana said, “If the youth have good ideas and are supported they can go far. Sustainability is key for every business. I appeal to national institutions and development partners to provide the needed support to sustain green and innovative businesses,”

UNCDF continues to play a pivotal role in driving sustainable development and fostering a greener future.

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