Prime News Ghana

Bawumia launches Kayeyei Empowerment Programme to train 5,000 head porters

By Vincent Ashitey
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Vice President and flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Kayayei Empowerment Programme, an initiative aimed at transforming the lives of the head porters in the country.

The initiative was marked by the commissioning of eight 4-storey hostel and skills training centre at Madina in the Greater Accra Region, aimed at providing essential vocational skills and safe housing for the kayayei.

The programme seeks to provide these marginalized women with critical skills and opportunities to transition into more stable and rewarding employment.

It represents a bold solution being spearheaded by Dr. Bawumia to bring a profound and lasting change to the lives of Ghana’s head porters, transforming them from marginalized workers to empowered business owners.

Bawumia’s promise

The provision of the hostel facilities and training of the kayayei, was a promise by Dr. Bawumia after visiting the head porters at Agbogbloshie in Accra in 2019.

It seeks to upgrade head porters, provide them with transitional job avenues, and improve their socio-economic well-being.

The programme includes rigorous recruitment, intensive training, and ongoing support to ensure participants successfully transition to new economic opportunities.

First phase the programme is expected to train 5,000 head porters starting with batches of 600 beneficiaries at Madina and Ashaiman hostel facilities built by government. 

A key component of the programme is the provision of post-training support and a track-and-trace model, which ensures participants receive starter packs tailored to their new economic ventures and helpsprevent them from returning to their former roles as head porters.

Each beneficiary will be supported with a seed capital of GH¢1,000.

Under the programme, beneficiaries will be housed in the hostels and trained in bead-making, decoration, soap-making, manicure, pedicure and baking for six weeks.

Speaking at the official launch of the Programme at Madina in Accra yesterday, Dr. Bawumia said the realisation of the programme has proved critics wrong.

“This multifaceted programme culminating in the selection of an initial cohort of 5,000 head porters, over the past three weeks, participants will be immersed in transformative learning experiences such as baking and beading, supplemented by invaluable soft skills training in personal healthcare, financial management and entrepreneurial acumen.

“Crucially, the provision of post-training support and implementation of training of a track and trace module serves a linchpin for the programme’s efficacy, with participants receiving starter packs to ensure beneficiaries do not return to being head porters,” Dr. Bawumia said.

The programme is designed to uplift affected young ladies from the margins of society, offering them new opportunities and a pathway out of poverty.

Dr. Bawumia highlighted the urgency and importance of the initiative, which will improve the livelihoods of the Kayayei.

“I am honoured to be part of this initiative dedicated to empowering head porters, offering transitional job pathways, and enhancing their socio-economic status,” he stated.

Plight of head porters

Dr. Bawumia underscored government’s commitment to addressing the plight of the over 100,000 head porters in Ghana, who face daily hardships such as lack of shelter, inadequate medical care, and harassment in urban centres.

The Kayayei Empowerment Programme, a collaborative effort between government agencies, private enterprises, and civil society organizations such as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Ghana National Gas Company, and the Father Campbell Foundation, includes the establishment of two hostels in Ashaiman and Madina.

Each is designed to accommodate 300 girls, with more under construction in the Ashanti and Bono East regions.

These hostels are equipped with modern training facilities, sanitary washrooms, and bathing areas, exemplifying the government’s commitment to safeguarding the dignity and well-being of all participants.

Continuous monitoring

There will be continuous monitoring and evaluation to enhance the programme and provide personalized assistance for further education and entrepreneurial endeavours.

“In addition to the strides already made, I’m thrilled to announce that discussions are ongoing with Metro Mass and Ayalolo buses to teach them driving.

“Furthermore, we are in talks with the Accra Digital Centre to provide ICT training,” Dr. Bawumia added.

Common Fund Administrator

Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), Irene Naa Torshie Addo, in a speech during the programme stressed the profound struggles faced by kayayei.

She praised Dr. Bawumia for his visionary leadership, compassion and the significant stride towards empowering the most vulnerable women in Ghana.

“For too long, the story of our kayayei has been one of struggle, resilience, courage, and determination.”

“The streets of our cities, which they expected to serve as promising avenues of opportunity, have become harsh realities, denying them the dignity and security they deserve,” she said.

Naa Torshie Addo recounted the journey that led to the establishment of the Kayayei Empowerment Programme and indicated how Dr. Bawumia promised to change their situation for good and initiated actions to roll out a comprehensive initiative aimed at providing the kayayei with essential vocational skills.

According to her, the programme, funded by the DACF has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and foster entrepreneurship and financial stability among kayayei and other vulnerable women.\