USAID launches livelihood support programmes for youth in fishing communities

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Feed the Future Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity, has launched some supplemental livelihood programmes for the youth in coastal fishing communities.

The programmes aimed at equipping the youth with employable skills and boosting the local economies and to help reduce the over reliance on the seemingly depleted sea.

“The supplemental livelihood programme is to reduce coastal community’s over dependence on the already burdened fisheries resources by equipping youth in coastal communities with the needed skills and trades,” a USAID statement said. 

Ghana’s per capita consumption of fish is said to be 25 kilogrammes and the initiative sought to promote the country’s earnings of over $200 million annually from fish and fish products. 

In all, 250 young men and women were drawn from Keta, Ketu, Ada East and Ada Districts and had already started their trainings which would last for six to ten months. 

Key areas of the training are garments, carpentry, catering, electrical, cosmetology, auto mechanic, hairdressing, welding, metal fabrication, spraying and painting.

The beneficiaries had been the first cohort of over 550 youth drawn from over 10 coastal fishing communities across Ghana’s coastal belt under their master trainers.

Training in financial literacy and startup equipment would be given to the beneficiaries after graduation in September 2023.

The programme, which aligns with the Government’s skills development initiative, had been supported by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Fisheries Commission, Opportunities Industrialisation Centre Ghana and Fisher Associations. 

Mrs Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, District Chief Executive, Ada East District, who hosted the launch, said: “There is the need for the youth in our communities to learn new skills and trades and look for different livelihood sources aside fishing in the long term in the face of low fish stocks and catches.”

Mr Maxwell Amoah, Deputy Chief of Party, Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity (GFRA), said the livelihood programme was as a result of survey conducted in December 2021, in Greater Accra, Volta, Central and Western Regions on alternative trades apart from fishing. 

“At the moment 374 people in Central and Western regions are working and would graduate in September this year. By end of the project in May 2026, our target is to train 8, 000 youth,” he said. 

Mr Samuel Quartey, Technical Advisor to Fisheries Minister, told the Ghana News Agency there were too many vessels chasing few fish and some vessels needed to be taken out. 

“Some people would be unemployed and therefore the need to give employable skills to reduce pressure on the sea and fish resources,” he said. 

Source: GNA 

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