The University of Cape Coast (UCC) chapter of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Local Committe(LC) on Saturday held its 2016 Uniterra Symposium.
The symposium,held at the SRC Conference room,was on the theme,”STEPPING UP EMPLOYMENT IN GHANA:THE ROLE OF VOLUNTEER”.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Kofi Nkansah Sarkodie, the Sector Programme Officer for Uniterra,who represented the Country Director of WUSC,Mrs.Abena Acheampong Adubea, said WUSC had been in Ghana since 1997 and worked primarily in basic education sector with the focus on girls’ education until April 2015.
He explained that, under the Uniterra Programme (2002-2015), the focus of WUSC was to increase the number of girls participating and remaining in basic education especially in region where the gender parity is low, provided gender sensitive and child friendly environment, improved the quality of education and built collaboration between state and non-state actors to achieve gender equality goals in education.
To that end,Mr. Sarkodie noted that the programme worked with local partners to address all gender related factors that affected enrolment,attendance, retention and completion of basic education in the targeted areas.
Announcing the new Uniterra 2015-2020 programme implemented by WUSC in Ghana, he observed that, “the year 2015 marked a significant shift for WUSC from girls’ education to employment creation for youth and women”.
Mr. Sarkodie said WUSC, on its part to reduce unemployment in Ghana, would continue to use professional volunteers, work through partnership,facilitate inclusive markets systems, build capacity of staff and partners and also be focused on sectors to achieve its goals.
He noted that the quest to reduce unemployment meant that volunteers would not replace local staff,adding that rather they would develop the existing capacities to enhance the effectiveness and delivery of results by its partners.
That, he explained, would be one of the ways WUSC/UNITERRA would had contributed to the reduction of unemployment in Ghana,
Mr.Abdou Gueye, a Youth Policy Advisor with WUSC,a Canadian volunteer, speaking on International Relations, said Ghana was the first country in Africa to receive development aid from Canada in 1957.He said Canada and Ghana were working together to promote peace and regional security.
Mr. Gueye said that both countries had participated in many peacekeeping initiatives,adding that Canada supported the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra.He pointed out that, according to the Citizen and Immigration Canada, there were 878 Ghanaians studying in Canada in 2013.
For his part, Mr. E.T Jamani jr, a former spokesperson for WUSC-UCC LC, Who is now a banker, said the role of the youth to step up employment in this era was to re-programme their minds and to be employable graduate with ideas and think deployment.
In his address,Mr. David Atiah, the President of WUSC-UCC LC, underscored the need for creating employment opportunities in Ghana.He called on the youth not to depend on the government for jobs but to strive hard to create their own jobs.