LESDEP which is expected to train and equip 20,000 unemployed people by 2012, is being replicated in all 170 Metropolitan, Municipal or District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana, where unemployed youth could take advantage now to gain some employable skills.
It is extremely simple in its ideology in the sense that, a potential beneficiary only need to walk to his/her MMDA and register for free, after which basic training in business and entrepreneurial management skills is offered to the person to enable he/she acquire the necessary capabilities for effective management of their enterprises.
After training, the beneficiaries are given the equipment of their choice based on the economic potential of the equipment in each particular district. The cost of the equipment shall however be repaid on installment basis and shall be spread over 6 months to 2 years period.
LESDEP is a bold initiative that makes an example to the world on the unemployment issue, as it gives away massive financial assistance to its trainees, which is still unmatched in the world.
Besides, the company goes to great lengths in selecting the most profitable business opportunities such as mobile and laptop repairing, construction, revenue collection, agro processing and packaging, fisheries, agriculture, local foods and catering, batik, tie and die, beauty salon, ICT training, machine shops and developing customized modules for its trainees. These training programmes in all trade sectors would be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and other agencies including National Youth Council, National Youth Employment Programme, GRATIS Foundation, Opportunities and Industrialization Centres, among others.
This unique initiative by President Mills according to LESDEP National Program Manager, Mr. Adam Gariba, intends to serve as employment creation through the acquisition of trades, vocational and entrepreneurial skills and serve as a means of enhancing the socio-economic standards of the youth in the country.
He said it also aims at developing the informal sector as a means of contributing towards national development and also support Small and Medium Enterprises to develop and play active roles in development programmes such as the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), oil and gas industry among others.
So far, 6,000 people have been enrolled into the program as an additional 4,000 shall be recruited before the end of this year, 2011.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier speculations that the President would be met with violence in Tamale as a result of early threats issued by some disgruntled National Democratic Congress (NDC) youth, President Mills received a glorious entry to Tamale with several hundreds of party youth meeting him on arrival at the Tamale Airport.
It took him and his entourage about five hours to reach the Central Business District of Tamale from the Airport which is only about 9 miles away from Tamale town, due to the inability of his convoy to penetrate or move through the crowd easily.
What actually worsened the situation and brought Tamale to a standstill was the other large number of onlookers who lined up on the edges of the road, just to wave at and catch glimpse of the President. The President had no choice than to return the greetings from the crowd through the top window of his vehicle by waving his miniature flag in his right hand.
However, there was heavy security presence made up of the military, police and fire service, ostensibly due to the instability that preceded his visit some three weeks ago.