A series of applause echoed within the walls of Accra Technical University on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. The ATU Akwaaba Lodged was graced by key officers of the University, members of the Informal Economy Workers’ Forum Ghana (INFORUM Gh) and other dignitaries to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ATU and INFORUM Gh).
In his welcome address, Acting Vice-Chancellor of ATU, Professor Amevi Acakpovi disclosed that the pact between ATU and INFORUM Gh offers a solution to an age-old problem that eats away at the nation’s economic development. He explained that most individuals with formal certificates for their skills end up unemployed, whereas most informal workers are unable to expand their businesses due to the lack of formal certification. He added that the competency-based training ATU offers would be impossible without such alliances with relevant industry institutions. The collaboration between ATU and INFORUM Gh thus provides informal workers a ripe opportunity to get formally certified for their work, while offering students close exposure to industry players. Prof. Acakpovi said the goal of technical education is to empower people to be more creative in problem-solving, and tightening knots with the informal sector brings ATU closer to this goal. He ended his speech by expressing his contentment at such a collaboration.
Executive Secretary for INFORUM Gh, Mrs. Deborah Freeman declared how thrilled she was that the Ag. VC regarded referred to INFORUM Gh as a relevant institution. She admitted how difficult it is to mobilize such a heterogeneous group of people, and commended members of INFORUM Gh for their unity and resolve to amplify their contribution to the nation’s economy. Madam Freeman extolled various industry players and dignitaries who helped in diverse ways to facilitate the collaboration between INFORUM Gh and ATU, each name she listed receiving a thunderous cheer. She expressed her keen gratitude towards Ghana’s Consular to Botswana, Honourable Thomas Okyere for his contributions towards the Forum, revealing that he also serves as Director of Formal Relations for INFORUM Gh.
Other speakers at the meeting were Mr. Frank Adetor, National Project Coordinator for the International Labour Organisation, who commended ATU’s lecturers for their willingness to utilize local languages when training members of INFORUM Gh. ATU Director of Research, Innovation, Publication and Technology Transfer, Professor Nana Yaw Asabere added that the training would not only be limited to familiarising trainees with the theories behind the work they already practice. He implored them to regard the requirement of their punctuality