Ghana needs a vibrant culinary industry that can absorb more graduates to rewrite the nation’s employment narrative, Mr Joseph Amarh Amartey, the Acting Executive Director of the Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA), has observed.
He explained, at the 45th graduation ceremony of the EKGS Culinary Institute, in Accra, that ‘the culinary industry provides an enormous variety of opportunities’ and urged the graduates to be prepared with the mindset to meet the needed quality standards to promote tasty food for quality health.
‘Don’t leave here unprepared and go home with the mindset that you cannot find jobs, or you cannot meet the quality standards needed to promote good food which will impact on quality health,’ Mr Amartey told the 130 graduates, who included three males.
The graduates, apart from Ghana, came from Nigeria, Mali, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and Uganda, and underwent different durations of professional culinary and floral training at the Sakaman-Dansoman, Accra-based instit
They studied and were trained in Cake Making, Pastry Art, Cookery, Balloon Ribbon Making and Floral Art.
The sounds of clinking forks, knives, and spoons in a pleasant aroma of distinct kinds of dishes and prepared meals, cakes and drinks that filled the air at a food exhibition in the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre, on Sunday matched the different genres of music in auditorium.
The graduation ceremony was held on the theme: ‘Building the Human Capital for the Culinary Industry: the Way to Economic Transformation; EKGS Culinary Institute, Doing Great Things with Creative Minds.’
Mr Amartey advised the graduates to be guided by expertise and experience, saying, ‘Think smart and look sharp.’
He reminded the gathering that economic growth in Ghana over the years had been attributed to the role played by the culinary industry and urged the graduates to use the training received to create jobs and guarantee the safety and sustainability of the culinary industry.
‘To this end, I want
to urge all the graduates, do not leave here unprepared for the world of work which includes the job market in Ghana,’ Mr Amartey said.
He added: ‘Remember, you have the choice of applying what you have learnt here, or perhaps leave everything here and join the bandwagon complaining of joblessness. I pray you will never join them.’
Mr Amartey advised the graduates of the significance of the career path they had chosen, and said, ‘They can continue to grow, and improve what they have acquired, but above all, they ought to apply the skills and expertise to develop Ghana.’
Ms Efua Otua Goode Obeng-Kyei, the Director of the Institute acknowledged stakeholders in the 25 years of the life of the institute and gave thumbs-up to the graduates for remaining faithful in their training to join the culinary profession.
She noted that revenue in the culinary industry worldwide amounted to some US$ 30.78 billion this year (202) and is expected to grow by 9.34 per cent annually.
She said the institute had trained over
8,000 people, and re-emphasised that, ‘at this critical moment of growing unemployment in the country, you need a vibrant culinary industry to rewrite the narrative.’
Ms Obeng-Kyei repeated her appeal at the last graduation ceremony to the Government to grant industry players some tax relief.
‘I want to put on record that the current taxes are far too high for industry players to make training affordable to many who will want to join,’ she said.
Ms Obeng-Kyei said the Institute would, as part of its corporate social responsibilities, apply a 50 per cent discount on tuition fees to 10 less privileged students.
Madam Maria Aba Lovelace-Johnson, Director of the Inspectorate Directorate of the Foods, and Drugs Authority (FDA) who chaired the ceremony, acknowledged the role of small and medium enterprises SMEs) in the Ghanaian economy, and called for more support for their sustainability.
The graduates presented a citation in appreciation to Ms Obeng-Kyei and the Institute for their training
Ms Bridget Otumf
uor was adjudged the best-graduating student.
Source: Ghana News Agency