Government has launched an initiative dubbed the “Entrepreneurship Jobs for All Programme” or “E-Jobs4All” to tackle unemployment in mining communities.
The program is part of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), which aims to combat illegal mining and provide alternative sources of livelihood for affected mining communities.
Speaking at the Accra International Conference Centre on Tuesday, November 28, the Minister expressed the government’s commitment to fighting illegal mining and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s dedication to providing decent jobs for the country’s youth.
Since 2017, the government has implemented various measures to address illegal mining, including banning activities in Forest Reserves and declaring water bodies as Red Zones.
To provide alternative sources of livelihood for individuals dependent on illegal mining, the government is promoting responsible small-scale mining, revamping the Community Mining Scheme, and developing an Operational Manual that sets the minimum standards that each small-scale and community mining scheme should meet.
Additionally, the government has introduced a mercury-free gold processing equipment, known as the Gold Katcha, to help small-scale miners efficiently extract gold without using mercury, in accordance with their obligation under the Minamata Convention.
The NAELP, launched in October 2021, focuses on reclamation, entrepreneurship, community mining, and mine support services.
The second module of NAELP, the “Entrepreneurship Jobs for All Programme,” focuses on Apprenticeship, Skills Training, and Entrepreneurship.
The initiative aims to empower youth in mining communities, foster innovation, and provide the tools and skills necessary to transform ideas into profitable ventures.
E-Jobs4All is a collaborative effort involving NAELP, Queens University, Leadogo Incorporated Canada, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Initiative (CEDI Ghana).
The program aims to equip 10,000 beneficiaries with the tools, skills, and insights needed to become entrepreneurs and job creators.
Mining contributes significantly to Ghana’s national economy, constituting about nine percent of the GDP.
Gold alone contributed some US$4.67 billion in exports, representing 43.4% of the total exports as of August this year, according to data from the Central Bank, the Bank of Ghana.
However, the historical underdevelopment of mining communities remains a challenge despite the contribution of gold to the national economy.
Mr. Jinapor assured that initiatives like NAELP and E-Jobs4All will ensure that these communities directly benefit from mining activities.
He said, “We do not only seek to impart knowledge but cultivate a mindset of innovation and entrepreneurship in our people.”
The program aims to provide alternative employment opportunities, particularly for the youth in mining regions.0