Free education policy will break the cycle of kayayei – Minister

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 Mr Mustapha Ussif, the Minister of Youth and Sports on Wednesday said the free education policy would enable kayayei to go back to school and break that cycle.

He said the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs 2007 figures showed that more than half of the young ladies working in the kayayei industry have no formal education and that the few who have received some type of education have not progressed beyond the basic level.

“As the earliest cohort of the 1980s may have their children and children’s children on the street, there are already three generations of Kayayei, hence, the free education policy will assist break that cycle in the near future,” he said.

Mr Ussif made the statement at the 2021 National Kayayei Dialogue on the theme: “Drop the Pan and Pick Up Your Future” organized by the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNFPA, Wiego, Baobab and IJM in Accra on Wednesday.

It was aimed at reducing the long-suffering pain and poverty amongst kayayei, and strategise on how, together as partners, can improve their welfare, encourage them to acquire education and employable skills among others.

It was attended by Reverend Paul Frimpong Manso, the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Nii Ahene Nunoo III, Abola Mantse and Ga Atofotse, who represented the Ga Mantse, Mr Edward Niyi OJuolape, UNFPA Ghana Country Representative, and a host of other stakeholders.

Mr Ussif said the government in collaboration with Mind Builders Africa and the Ministry of Gender, has offered varied courses for Kayayei and registered them on the National Health Insurance Scheme under the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP).

“NEIP and other governmental and non-governmental agencies are developing a strategy to provide more skill training and financing support to these girls to help them reintegrate into their various communities back home.

This he said would go a long way to create job avenues and discourage the rural-urban migration,” he said.

Mr Ojuolape noted that the kayayei phenomena was not new and has been discussed, broached, explored in the past in several instances but with little results.

“For us at UNFPA, we work to ensure that every young person’s potential is fulfilled, especially the adolescent girl, to ensure that no one is left behind, and kayayei fall into this category and therefore are within the mandate area of our work,” he said.

He commended the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation for the bold and laudable initiative in organizing two dialogues both in Tamale and Accra and affirmed the UNFPA’S commitment and support.

“It is our fervent hope that at the dialogues in both the north and the south, tangible ideas and solutions will be proffered to reduce the menace for win-win solutions for all stakeholders,“ the UNFPA Representative said.

Mr Ojuolape urged all to continue to strengthen their partnerships and collaborations in issues affecting head-porters in Ghana and Africa.

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