GHANA – The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) in collaboration with the Federation of Persons With Disability (PWDs), have begun construction of a state-of-the-art chalk manufacturing factory in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region.

The factory sitting on a two acre plot is scheduled to commence commercial production in June 2020 and will become one of biggest chalk manufacturing factory in West Africa.

The much anticipated factory to be established at Essaakyir will have the capacity to permanently employ over 200 persons with disability (PWDs).

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a tour of the facility at Essaakyi, Ms. Sarah Afful, the Regional Director of YEA, said the facility would give a strong boost to teaching and learning.

She said that the initiative was one of the surest way to systematically support PWDs, reduce the high unemployment rate among PWDs in the District even as YEA moves to create the needed enabling environment for them to function effectively.

The project, according to her formed part of Government’s policy aimed at creating jobs for Ghanaians through the setting up of factories and industries which will in turn move the country towards greater industrialization and job creation for all.

It was also part of YEA and key partners resolve to roll-out disability employment policies that ensured that PWDs have equal access to the job market to enable them live dignified lives instead of begging on the streets.

Ms Afful said, “Access and empowerment for people of all abilities that seeks to reduce inequalities and remove barriers to equal participation for persons with disabilities in society,” is a topmost priority.

Touching on the source of raw materials, Ms Afful said the chalk would be produced from salt residue extracted from various producing sites doted along the coastal stretch in the Region.

Also, Ms Afful revealed that the YEA and the Ghana Education Service (GES) were going to be the factory’s first customers even as they intensify efforts to reach out to the West African market.

Mr. Bright Bernard Grant, the District Chief Executive (DCE) commended YEA and partners for choosing the District and said PWDs believed that one way of enhancing their livelihoods was to acquire academic and professional skills to position themselves for the competitive job market.