The Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi has announced that the Scheme has entered into partnership with Jospong Group of Companies and the Asian-African Consortium (AAC).
Mr.Osei Assibey Antwi,NSS Boss
This partnership, he said, is one of the concrete actions the Scheme is intentionally embarking on to implement its new goal of “Deployment for Employment”.
He said the expectation of the Scheme for this collaboration is to provide the service personnel with practical experiences to complement the theoretical concepts they have studied in the classroom.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi made the announcement at a two-day induction seminar themed “Service to enhance Ghana’s food security”, organized at the Pentecost Convention Center at Gomoah Fetteh in the Central Region for one thousand (1,000) national service personnel within the agricultural sector as a step towards nurturing a more resilient and food-sufficient Ghana,
The aim of the Scheme in this direction is to join hands with its partners to strategically deploy and groom the selected service personnel in agriculture to work towards food sufficiency and employment of the young graduates after their national service.,
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi expressed his profound appreciation to the Jospong Group and the AAC for their partnership, saying it will provide a great opportunity for the National Service Personnel to become agric-prenuers and thus reduce graduate unemployment in the country.
Taking advantage of the occasion, the NSS Executive Director appealed to the nation’s institutions and colleges that provide agricultural programs to modernize their curricula and allow for meaningful practical attachments, as is the case in other professions like medicine.
Mr. Assibey Antwi admonished the service personnel to take this rare opportunity seriously. He reminded the current batch of service personnel that, as the Scheme’s first graduates following its golden jubilee anniversary, they are expected to set a new, constructive precedent that future batches will be proud to follow.
The NSS boss hint about additional programs that the Scheme is putting in place in other economic sectors, including housing and construction, ICT, tourism, and hospitality, all of which are aimed at supporting the Scheme’s goal of lowering the unemployment rate for Ghanaian graduates.
He also expressed his gratitude to some of the 2023–2024 national service personnel who were assigned to positions in the tourism and hospitality industries. He said that the graduates raised the occupancy rate of certain hotels in Ghana from 17% to 42% by using strategic advertising and inventiveness
Mr. Assibey Antwi hinted that according to a recent report from the research, monitoring, and evaluation unit of the Scheme, most of those national service personnel have secured permanent employment in sectors of the country’s economy.
On his part in addressing to the national service personnel, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw-Agyepong, explained that over forty-six farmer groups across the sixteen regions of Ghana have been engaged to serve as centers to which the service personnel will be attached for training.
Dr. Siaw-Agyepong further intimated that over one hundred (100) full scholarships for post-graduate studies in agriculture in countries including Russia, Thailand, Japan, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe have been arranged for outstanding personnel at the end of the service year.
Telling a story of his own humble beginnings and how far he has come today, the Executive Chairman inspired the service personnel to be passionate about their work, put in a lot of effort, and be driven by good intentions.
For her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Asian-African Consortium, Mrs. Adelaide Araba Siaw-Agyepong, expressed hope and optimism about the project, saying it will provide valuable hands-on experience for personnel as well as enhance their abilities across the entire rice production value chain.
She stated that the national service personnel will be exposed to trainings in land preparation, agricultural research, mechanized farming, sustainable and data-driven farming, safety and compliance, networking, and career development, among others.
The AAC boss further proclaimed that the program would open doors to future job prospects for national service personnel as they will, at the end of the service year, acquire expertise that will make them very competitive in the employment market.
The program had in attendance all the sixteen Regional Directors of the Scheme, senior Officers of the Scheme at the Head Office, and several distinguished stakeholders within the agriculture ecosystem of Ghana, including the president of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), Nana Kwabena Adjei Ayeh II, the 2021 national best youth farmer,
Ms. Marian Ofori Twumasi, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture (livestock), Hon. Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru, the Director of Research at the Youth Employment Agency, Agya Yaw Nsia, and other large-scale farm owners.
All these resource persons took their turns to motivate the service personnel present and kindle their interest in agriculture, emphasizing the fact that agriculture has too many opportunities to offer them.
Dr. Joseph Siaw-Agyepong, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, blessed the personnel and prayed that they succeed in their service.