Ghana asked to develop comprehensive policy on informal economy

Mr. Kofi Asamoah - TUC Secretary-General

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) on Tuesday stressed the need to develop a comprehensive policy on the informal economy to address challenges and help improve working conditions.

He reminded policy makers that they had a duty to informal economy operators since they constitute a greater part of the economy and contribute to national development.

Mr Asamoah made the call at the graduation of 28 out of 30 members of Traditional and Indigenous Caterers Association of Ghana, who had completed a 10-day training course in Entrepreneurial Development and Skills Upgrading.

It was jointly organised by the Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) and National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and sponsored by the Danish Trades Union (LO-FTF) at a cost of 40,640 dollars.

He commended the Danish Trade Unions for their assistance towards numerous projects being undertaken by the GTUC.

Some of the projects are, Education, Training and Skill Development for informal economy workers in Ghana and Research and Policy activities, including GTUC Policy Bulletin since 2005, which allowed the GTUC to reach wider segment of Ghanaians with progressive message of alternative economic and social policies.

Mr Asamoah said the GTUC had been involved in the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Pilot Project to identify training needs of specific groups of informal economy workers to strengthen their capacities for advocacy, to influence national policies mainly on social security for informal economy workers.

He noted that the informal economy employed over 80 per cent of the working population and contributed significantly to the total national output.

Mr Asamoah said while policy makers acknowledged the size and importance of the informal economy it had not attracted the deserved attention, and in most cases, national policies had overlooked the needs of people operating in the informal economy.

“Consequently the informal economy in Ghana is faced with enormous decent work deficits,” he added.

Mr Asamoah said some challenges facing the informal sector were the lack of access to credit and institutional support, lack of social protection in an unsafe working condition, inadequate training opportunities for skills development and were most times denied voice and representation, which needed urgent attention.

Mr Theodore Mawenyega Gborfu, Representative of LO- FTF Council in an interview with Ghana News Agency expressed his appreciation with the assimilation and participation of the trainees because Ghana was the first country in the pilot study of the programme, being undertaken simultaneously in Sierra Leone, Niger, Togo and Benin.

Mrs Rose L. Kwei, Head of Informal Economy Desk of GTUC, said follow ups would be conducted to check the impact of the knowledge and skills acquired during the course.

The curriculum for the pilot project was based on GTUC’s Labour Research and Policy institute, which identified the skill needs of food vendors in Accra and were therefore selected as beneficiaries.

The participants were taken through traditional catering in Ghana, the importance of traditional caterer, food production cycle, food hygiene, introduction to nutrition, kitchen organisation, first aid, causes and prevention of fire and fire fighting, trade unionism, entrepreneurship, book keeping, healthy cooking and lifestyle and security.

Source: GNA

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