Job creation: YEA activates artisan directory programme to help bridge informal sector gap

The CEO of YEA says the informal sector is largely artisanal is widely seen as the growth engine for internally driven economic transformation hence the need to harness its potential

The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has activated what it calls the “YEA artisan directory programme” to bridge the gaps in the artisanal sector for job creation.

Speaking at the launch of the Artisan Directory Programme, chief executive officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Justin Kodua Frimpong, said the artisanal sector which is estimated at US$34 billion per year must not be left unregulated.

“The informal sector which is largely artisanal is widely seen as the growth engine for internally driven economic transformation. However, the sector is yet to realize its full potential as the hub of decent jobs for the benefit of many youths who are either graduates awaiting to be productively engaged as artisans or labourers,” he stated.

He further explained that “even though the artisanal sector is faced with challenges such as a platform to facilitate the marketing of goods and services, the industry provides hope and is capable of generating more decent, sustainable and attractive employment opportunity to the youth while contributing meaningfully and the development and growth of Ghana.”

Speaking on behalf of the implementing partners, the executive secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, Samuel Amegayibor lauded the government for such a platform.

According to him beyond it creating employment it will also afford the opportunity for the government to tap into the artisan sector for some extra revenue.

“In line with the president’s vision which is being run by the vice-president on digitisation, this is one of the opportunities that the digitisation is bringing to us for us to be able to access modern ways of engaging services.

“This means that a lot of interfaces will be reduced and allow systems to bring the engagement and then records are properly taken, everything is formalised and if there’s some revenue that must be accrued to government also, then the system will be able to mobilize all these arrangements. So, I honestly believe that it is something that we should all be supporting,” he added.

In its 2016 report, the Individual Africa Report noted that the artisanal industry is the second largest employer in developing countries after agriculture.

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) Regional Spatial Business report 2017 estimates that 86.1% of all employment is found in the informal economy.

The report further indicated that men and women amounting to 81% and 90.9% respectively in the sector work under circumstances that are to a large extent, uncontrolled, unregulated and do not conform to standards as established by regulatory institutions.

Nicholas Brown

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