Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) as part of its quest to connect young Ghanaians to relevant knowledge resources that improve their well-being has outdoored 10 Youth Engagement Centers (YECs) across eight regions.
At a short ceremony in Accra, the Executive Director of GhLA, Mr. Hayford Siaw, in explaining the rationale behind the concept of YECs, said, it was an initiative to support at least ten thousand young Ghanaians from 14 to 24 years with digital, entrepreneurial and advocacy skills at specially redesigned sections of public libraries in the country.
He revealed that the YEC project, which would provide access to online courses, organize peer-to-peer learning sessions, schedule engagements with industry leaders and mid-career professionals for career guidance and mentorship support, is a timely response to the youth unemployment challenge in Ghana.
He said, “The burgeoning youth population needs to be empowered effectively to identify and find solutions to various societal problems. These centers would be safe environments where the youth would acquire innovative skills to better themselves”.
He also added that the centers have trained coordinators who would be supporting users of the facilities with Interview preparation workshops and simulations, Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing skills and Digital skills including the use of computers and internet services.
The Youth Engagement Center (YEC) Project is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Deputy Country Representative of UNICEF, Mr. Fiachra McAssey stated, “The idea is to try and see in a different context, what the youth will learn and by the end, acquire skills to be able to apply easily in the workplace or as part of the workforce.”
In expressing his optimism, Mr. McAssey noted, “Given the Authority’s large and expanding library network, success with these Youth Engagement Centers can be a standard-bearer for more Youth Engagement Centers across regions in Ghana. I know that UNICEF and the Ghana Library Authority, through this initiative, will generate results which will continue to inspire others, from both the public and private sectors, to support young people in Ghana with skilling and employability opportunities”.
The Youth Engagement Centers, which are freely accessible to all Ghanaian youths are located at the Accra Central Library, Tema Branch library, Ashanti Library, Cape Coast Library, Effutu Municipal Library, the Secondi Library, Koforidua Library, Wa Library and Bolgatanga Library.