ADDRESS BY CEO OF NYA ON OCCASSION OF MAY DAY CELEBRATIONS, 2019
I am indeed very glad for this unique opportunity to address the youth of Ghana on this rather important day on the national calendar, -- Labour Day, commemorated on the 1st of May each year.
Gallant youth, permit me to recall the origins of this day, set aside to honor the contributions of organized labour, majority of who fall within the youth and energetic bracket and who are contributing immensely to the growth and development of the labour front and the nation.
Labour Day was instituted as a result of the proclamation to shorten the working day to 8 hours and thereby bringing some sanity, decency and respect in the world of work, this must be applauded.
Here in Ghana, it in equally important to bring into focus the contributions of government and the lead agency mandated to design and regulate the youth development agenda, the National Youth Authority at promoting the wellness and welfare of workers especially young workers. Undoubtedly, the youth remain crucial to the future of trade unionism and to the strength, effectiveness and legitimacy of the labour force. It is in this light that the NYA calls upon unions and organizations to better respond in their programs and activities to the needs and expectations of young workers, make them feel welcome and eliminate obstacles that hinder their full participation in these programs.
I would like to commend government for its pivotal role at addressing labor related concerns that has seen a great reduction in civil unrests and demonstrations especially on the labour front.
Government through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its departments and agencies such as the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Youth Employment Agency as well as other sister youth related bodies such as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP) and Nation Builders Corps (NaBCO) are all working tirelessly and within their mandate at enhancing the employment generation frontier and providing decent work and working environment for Ghanaian Youth.
I want to at this point also quote from the Ghana Labour and Forced Labour Reports that Ghana has in recent times made modest progress in the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Government has launched the National Plan of Action for elimination of Human Trafficking in Ghana. Government also extended the Ghana School Feeding Program to include schools in refugee camps and this is also commendable.
Inspite of the meaningful successes, the Authority nonetheless appreciates the fact that there still remain some issues that need to be addressed such as commercial sexual exploitation of children and the use of children for illicit activities.
Valiant youth of Ghana, allow me to touch on an issue with the potential to degenerate into a national catastrophe and that is the phenomenon of illegal mining referred to as ‘galamsey’ with its attendant negative environmental consequences.
Whilst commending government on its commitment to fight and end the scourge, the National Youth Authority is also contributing its bit through the provision of alternative livelihood programs such as the “Youth livelihood Farms” project which quite recently harvested over 1,022 bags of maize from 120 acres pilot farms in the Upper West Region, the youth in street light repairs and maintenance project, in collaboration with Prefos Ltd, and the launch of the Authority`s flagship project Steps Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP) program targeting unskilled and semi-skilled youth.
I also would like to urge TUC to expedite the review of the TUC Youth Policy to bring it up to speed with current happenings and in line with international best practices and standards.
Finally, whilst bringing to mind the theme for this year’s celebration, “Sustainable Pensions For All: The Role Of Social Partners”, let me again say congratulations to all young workers and stress for us to continually work towards enhancing the values of peace, unity, solidarity and friendship that will lead to a better, more decent, more equal fairer and more just society. These are practical realities that together we can achieve.
HAPPY MAY DAY CELEBRATIONS!!!
Mr. Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri
CEO OF NYA