The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) has inaugurated 10 Youth Engagement Centres in eight regions in the country to develop the digital and entrepreneurial skills of the youth.
The centres are located in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Winneba, Sekondi, Koforidua, Wa and Bolgatanga.
About 10,000 youth between the ages of 14 and 24 will benefit from the project.
The centres, which were established in collaboration with the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), would also provide the youth with mentorship support and requisite tools to build policy advocacy skills.
The Executive Director of the GhLA, Hayford Siaw, said: “The inauguration of these centres is a big step forward in creating an inclusive environment for the youth in the country to discover and harness their potential.”
Mr Siaw said the project began in September last year to help the youth “develop digital and entrepreneurship skills by accessing online courses, organising peer-to-peer learning sessions with their community, scheduling engagements with industry leaders and mid-career professionals for career guidance and mentorship support, and also accessing tools to build their policy advocacy skills”.
He further explained that “this project is in response to a need, which is job availability for young people and getting them prepared with soft skills to be responsive to the needs of employers”.
“The idea behind this is that we have identified per research and economic data available in this country that there is a lot of learning gap, job gap and skills gap for young people,” Mr Siaw added.
He also said that the centres had coordinators who would be training patrons with interview skills and Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing, including the use of computers and internet services.
A Deputy Representative of UNICEF Ghana, Fiachra McAsey, said their partnership with GhLA was anchored on the government’s vision to prepare the youth for the future of work by providing them with education and skills.
“As UNICEF works on finalising its Country Programme with the government of Ghana for 2023-2027. It will prioritise the empowerment and engagement of the youth through innovative and scalable initiatives in collaboration with other stakeholders,” he said.
“I invite adolescent girls and boys, young women and men to use this unique opportunity for personal growth and development,” he added.