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Business News of Saturday, 26 May 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

German-trained Ghanaians benefit from entrepreneurship programme

Thirty Ghanaian German-trained experts have benefited from an entrepreneurship programme organised by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

Known as the, ‘Returning Experts Programme,’ the initiative is to ensure that Ghanaians who had their professional training in Germany were empowered to set up businesses in Ghana irrespective of their field of study.

As part of the programmes which is under the auspices of the German Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) and Federal

Employment Agency, the CIM supplies experts still living in Germany but interested in returning to Ghana with information about opportunities on job markets in Ghana.

Some of the students who decide to set up their own businesses after the period also receive some form of start-up capital from the programme.

Those who return home with the sole aim to set up, receive start-up capital of about 10,000 Euros and beyond.

Students upon completion of their studies, either through scholarship or personal investments, can apply to the programme which provides their transportation back home and offers them job placements in the areas of agriculture, decentralisation and good financial governance and economic cooperation.

Students on job placements are given salary top ups by the programme monthly for two years.

Aside this, their host companies or institutions receive equipments from the programme which upon completion of the students’ work, become the property of the institution.

Addressing this year’s beneficiaries at a workshop in Accra, Mr Konrad De Bortoli, the Deputy Director GIZG-Ghana in charge of Human Resource, noted that the programme had been useful in ensuring that the returnees came back to Ghana to put their expertise at the disposal of the country.

“We are happy that this programme is making a lot of impact. There is no better way than to allow people to return to their home country at their own will to contribute their quota to their country’s development.”

For his past, Mr David Tette, Advisor and Coordinator for the Centre for International Migration and Development Programme in Ghana, discredited the notion that the programme is intended to send home African migrants in Germany, explaining that people are not forced to enrol on the programme to return home.

He said the programme is meant to give a positive perception of African migrants by converting what is commonly known as ‘brain drain’into ‘brain gain.’

A beneficiary of the programme, Ms Afua Antwiwaa Abasa, told the Daily Graphic that the entrepreneurship training programme would be very beneficial.

“Most of the courses we study in Germany are technical in nature. By adding entrepreneurship training from here, we are being empowered not only to create jobs for ourselves but for others as well” she added.

Over the past 30 years, more than 14,000 managers and technical experts working in CIM’s Integrated Experts and Returning Experts programmes have passed on their know-how to organisations in over 90 countries around the world.

In Ghana, about 450 experts have received support from the programme and making strides.

Two companies that have emerged from the programme in Ghana are B-Bovid Limited, an agricultural company, set up by a German-trained Ghanaian and Torkonoo and Associates, a consulting firm.

The programme operates in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and has so far benefited over 10,000 people globally since its inception in 1994.

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