The Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has stated that the Ghanaian Youth has tremendous potential to transform the socio-economic development agenda of the country.
He made this known when a delegation from the Yonso Project paid a courtesy call on him and presented one of their locally produced bamboo bicycles to him.
The project, which is an initiative of Kwabena Danso, a 33 year old man, is a rural community development organization, based at Yonsu in the Ashanti Region, which works to improve educational and economic opportunities to alleviate poverty, and the bamboo bicycle is one of their works.
The Minister, who was very impressed with the innovation and its potential, stated that Bamboo and its utilization was an industry on its own and that one positive aspect of the project was that it resulted in an environmentally friendly bicycle that was as good as any other.
He assured the delegation that the Ministry would support the project in every way, especially its marketability, since the project was an icon in terms of transformation.
Mr. Kwame Danso, said the project currently produces bicycles, bicycle stands, water bottle holders, bicycle baskets and snack bags, and that areas for future development included furniture, construction and also household equipment.
He stated that the project was very viable, as the bicycles were being marketed in Holland, Chile, Germany, Spain, U.S.A and that it was in partnership with My-Boo, a German company for worldwide marketing.
Profits gained, he added, are invested in scholarships, libraries, leadership training programmes and micro finance for rural women.
Mr. Danso listed some of the challenges as funding to train more youth, inadequate equipment, limited working space, and lack of sustainable supply of bamboo.
He indicated that the next step for the project included bamboo plantation, expansion of training centre, improved equipment and tools, training more youth and development of several bamboo products.
The Board Chairman of the project, Kwame Edem Senanu stated that the bamboo tree was the fastest growing tree adding that the Ghanaian bamboo was twice as strong as that of others in the world.
Source: MOYS PR DEPT (Larry George Botchway)