A new training centre for diversified agricultural development and entrepreneurship has been commissioned by government and energy giant Eni at Dormaa East in the Bono Region.
The centre is part of the Okuafo Pa Project, aimed at supporting Ghana’s sustainable development by promoting socio-economic growth.
The centre consists of a Campus for up to 800 students, with classrooms, workshops, offices and related storage spaces and utilities.
The event was attended by the Planning Minister, Prof. Gyan Baffour, who represented the President; Krontihene of Dormaa Barimah Ansu Agyei and Eni’s Executive Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa Guido Brusco.
Also in attendance was the Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and Italian Ambassador to Ghana Giovanni Favilli.
Photovoltaic panels will power the campus, which will be energetically self-sufficient and highly efficient. Educational programs, focusing on agricultural activities, poultry breeding and greenhouse cultivation, will be defined with the support of Ghanaian and European Universities.
Besides training activities, Okuafo Pa Project will facilitate access to micro-credit and to the labour market. Opening of educational activities is expected by end of year.
According to Prof. Baffour, government considers this Akuafo Pa project a facilitator and a flagship initiative for economic growth and employment in the district.
He said, “the implementation of this diversified agricultural project guarantees that a significant contribution will be made to achieving goals 1, 2, 7, 8 10 and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the country will make strides in attaining our economic aspirations to build a prosperous Ghana.”
The Minister for Planning also disclosed that some of the interventions government has initiated to provide jobs and boost economic development are the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme, Rearing for Food and Jobs Campaign and the mechanization.
According to Guido Brusco, Eni Executive Vice President for Sub Saharan Africa, “one of Eni’s core values is supporting the sustainable development of the countries we operate. Wherever we are, we establish a strong dialogue with institutions and communities, to identify needs and develop joint solutions.
This is what we call the dual flag model: we are Italian, and we are Ghanaian. We grow if Ghana also grows with us.”
He continued that, “we believe in Public Private Partnerships, a tool that the United Nations identified as fundamental to trigger sustainable development.
We, therefore, respond to a call from the Ghanaian Government for private companies to support local institutions in skills development and capacity building.”
The Campus is the first step of the Okuafo Pa project, aimed at defining a sustainable model to be replicated in other regions of Ghana as well as in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, to positively impact on productive activities and occupation opportunities.
The Campus will leverage local employment, generate revenue from agricultural activities and develop a co-operative model on the overall supply-chain of each product.
Eni and the Government of Ghana, represented by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), developed the Okuafo Pa Project.
The project is aligned to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Government of Ghana program “Ghana beyond Aid”.