China has opened its flagship vocational and technical workshop in Ghana to provide skills training in agriculture, especially for the youth.
Known as the China-Ghana Agricultural Luban Workshop (CGALW), it is situated at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani, Bono Region.
The centre will enable Chinese experts to imbibe in students cutting-edge skills and technology training in agriculture.
The Luban workshop, which is based on an ancient Chinese great craftsman, is an international vocational educational training programme backed by the Ministry of Education of China.
It is established by Chinese educational institutions in partnership with their counterparts in host countries to provide skills training for the youth.
So far, about 20 of the Luban workshops have been opened in 19 countries including Thailand, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Egypt, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.
The one in the country was jointly established by Liaoning Agricultural Vocational and Technical College in China, the UENR, the Ghana Chinese Chamber of Commerce and TIAST West Africa Limited.
At the launch of the CGLAW in Accra last Friday, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Lu Kan, said the project was aimed at promoting cultural and educational cooperation between China and other countries.
He said 10 of such workshops were being established in Africa to deepen collaboration between China and African countries.
“Under the personal care and promotion of President Xi Jinping, in the past five years, the African Luban workshop has realised the overall output of Chinese standards, models, equipment and solutions.
“More young Africans are eager to improve their skills in Luban workshops and find new opportunities for employment and development,” Mr Kan added.
He said the centre would primarily focus on cassava production to increase yields.
According to the ambassador, China had consistently cooperated with Ghana to improve agriculture by bringing experts to the country and also sending Ghanaians to China to benefit from experience in the sector, adding that the CGLAW will help “inject new impetus for Ghana–China relationship”.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum-Ampofo, lauded China for its continuous support to technical education in the country, saying it had led to the retooling and improvement of 13 technical second cycle schools and 10 technical universities in the country.
She said the workshop would further support the government’s industrialisation drive to help the country process its raw materials.
For his part, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Dr Winfred Nii Okai Hammond, said the Luban educational workshop had significantly empowered many young people in countries where they had been established and expressed the hope that same would be replicated in Ghana.
“Notably, in Pakistan, the programme has successfully trained over 100,000 young people in vocational skills, leading to significant employment opportunities and economic growth,” he added.