The Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, through her ‘Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP), a not-for-profit organization, is building the capacities of young women with self-employable skills in the fashion and textile industry.
This is done through the SEHP’s ‘Network for Enterprise Development Learning through Sewing (NEEDLES) for Girls (N4G)’ project that seeks to equip vulnerable young women with employable skills to work within the fashion industry.
The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM BANK), with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through its Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The N4G project would benefit about 1,000 young girls across the Northern, Greater Accra, and Ashanti regions, who would be exposed to a variety of career prospects, benefit from career guidance and counselling sessions, and hands-on learning on different fashion trades of their interest.
During a Career Day and Registration event, to officially begin the N4G project, in Tamale, Mrs Bawumia said the initiative was a pathway through which vulnerable young women could become active contributors to the growth of the country’s economy.
“Given the role of women in the country and their contributions to the national economy, it is imperative that we invest in them and their economic activities. This is fundamental to their economic empowerment which has a direct and positive impact on the national economy”, she noted.
The Second Lady said, “When women exercise greater control over economic resources, more women will be able to work and earn income and, in the process, empower those in the informal sectors to expand their financial decision-making powers”.
Mrs Bawumia advised the young girls to take advantage of the opportunities in the N4G project so that they could become professional fashion experts to compete and collaborate on a global level.
Madam Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, GIZ-Ghana Country Director, said youth unemployment was a critical issue confronting nations across the world, hence, the idea to support the N4G initiative to achieve sustainable economic growth among young women.
Madam Akua Asantewaa, N4G Project Advisor, said more than 2500 young women had gone through a first screening stage and out of which, about 1,000 were eligible for further training in existing fashion houses.
“It is expected that most of these young women who graduate will be absorbed into these fashion houses for further experiential learning”, she said.