The Turkish Embassy in partnership with the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation and Muslim Women in Teaching (MUSWIT) recently joined forces to unveil a modern TVET Centre at Abeka Lapaz in Accra.
The Centre, located at the Bakos Preparatory School, was funded by the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation upon the initiative of Her Excellency the Ambassador of Türkiye, Dr. Özlem Ergün Ulueren. The successful project is the brain-child of MUSWIT – an apolitical NGO focused on developing female Muslim teachers across the country, as well as empowering Muslim girls to acquire crucial life skills and training to enable them effectively contribute to economic development of Ghanaian society.
The Centre has a modern fashion-design workshop with state-of-the-art dressmaking machines, as well as a Computer Laboratory complete with brand new computers and a whole host of computer-related technology and books to help the trainees develop their skills in both of these key sectors.
The President of MUSWIT, Mrs. Amina Deen Ibrahim, indicated during her speech at the launch that the organisation had spotted a major gap in skills training and development for young Muslim girls, which was especially high in the constituency. This gap, according to her, if not adequately fixed will limit the next generation of Muslim women’s ability to contribute effectively to the country’s economic development.
Instead of always waiting for government to provide, the MUSWIT team set about putting together a plan for finding the necessary resources to renovate and refurbish their TVET Centre to make it more useful in developing the skills of young girls in the area.
Mrs. Ibrahim thanked the Turkish Ambassador profusely for her relentless passion and support in the quest to redevelop the Centre. She also expressed profound gratitude to the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation for providing much-needed financial support in making the project a success.
In her comments during the keynote speech, Ambassador Ulueren noted that human capital development and empowerment is one of the anchors of Türkiye’s approach to building relations with the African continent. She highlighted several education-related projects undertaken by the Turkish State aid agency (TIKA), as well as the establishment of about 191 schools in 25 African countries by the Maarif Foundation.
According to the Ambassador, Türkiye attaches great importance to technical and vocational training as a key pillar in overall youth training and education, as it is crucial in the development efforts of the continent. She also indicated that her country strongly values the training and economic empowerment of women. To buttress this point, she cited the fact that Turkish First Lady Mrs. Emine Erdogan currently has a project in Ankara called the African House, which was established in 2016. According to her, it is a designated location where exquisite African handicrafts are displayed and marketed in support of African women from across the continent.
She concluded by praising the leadership of MUSWIT for their tireless efforts and leadership. She also expressed her sincere appreciation to the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation for their crucial contribution to the project.
The Member of Parliament for the constituency, Patrick Boamah, expressed profound gratitude to the Turkish Ambassador for her strong passion and interest in making the project possible. He also thanked the Turkish government for the immense support it has offered Ghana over the last several years.
The MP noted that he is especially excited by the project because TVET forms a crucial part of the current government’s education and human development drive. He assured the teams from the Turkish Embassy and Diyanet Foundation that the Centre will definitely be put to the best use to impact the lives of Muslim youth – especially girls in the constituency. To this end, he pledged to provide an amount of ten thousand cedis from his common fund to support operational expenses of the Centre.