The Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri has drummed home the need for the nation to provide our youth with opportunities and direction towards productive citizenship, if Ghana’s future is to be guaranteed.

Mr. Asigri made these remarks at the African Union Youth Rally, held at the Jubilee Park, Kumasi on Thursday, 25 May 2017. Speaking on the theme for the celebration, ‘Investing in the Youth to Take Care of Themselves; Tasks and Responsibilities of Stakeholders’, which is a local rendition in response to the continental theme: ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth’, the C.E.O intimated that the challenging state of the youth of Ghana particularly and the African continent generally was precarious and worrisome to the governments of member states of the AU. He cited an example of the trends in migration of young Africans to ‘seek greener pastures in Europe at the perils of their life’ and stated that ‘new development paradigms ought to be initiated to reduce the situation to the minimum.’

Mr. Asigri pledged the Authority’s resolve to reposition itself to deliver on its core mandate of ensuring that government’s investment policies on the youth are implemented for the benefit of a peaceful and productive nation.

The second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Her Excellency, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, who was the Special Guest of Honor, youth all over Africa and the world have been instrumental in nation building and development and lamented however, that the optimism that our nation’s forefathers had at the dawn of independence had failed to translate into a positive, and collective outcomes.

The Second Lady, nevertheless encouraged the youth that it was never too late to rise above their challenges to find lasting and sustainable solutions to them. ‘It is not too late to work towards achieving the goals we have set for ourselves. It is never too late to fight for posterity: for they will be beneficiaries of our labour’ she stated.

Mrs. Samira Bawumia noted that the theme for the celebration is in direct patronage of many of government’s economic policies. These policies, she said are intended to open avenues for the youth to become economically strong in realizing the demographic dividend.

Africa must find the right answers to the demographic dividend question: a question that refers to building frameworks to lessen the burden of the dependent population on the working population’, she stated.

In a solidarity message, the Acting UNFPA representative in Ghana, Mad. Erika Goldson, stated that Ghana stood at a critical juncture between crisis and opportunity afforded by its youth bulge. Prioritizing investments in young people will, thus, ensure that Ghana achieves her development goals. She mentioned that in line with the ‘Ghana @ 60’ theme, the Authority’s decision to celebrate AU day under the localized theme ‘Investing in Youth to Help Themselves; Tasks and Responsibilities of Stakeholders’ is a clear manifestation of the country’s commitment to ensure that young people are prioritized in its development agenda. ‘Indeed, it is important, that all stakeholders see investment in young people as critical to the developmental process’ she emphasized.

Hon. Elizabeth Agyemang, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, in a welcome address expressed delight at Her Excellency the Second Lady’s presence at the Youth Rally and commended the management and staff of the National Youth Authority and the Federation of Professional Trade Association of Ghana for organizing the rally and Mini fair that had brought the youth on board in this year’s celebration of the African Union Day.

She said the NPP government is very committed to empowering the youth through skills development, job creation and sports and that the government will ensure that young people constitute the major source of human capital for the transformational agenda of Ghana.

She concluded by using the opportunity to advise the youth not to relent in in their efforts to enhance themselves and encouraged them to identify the many opportunities that abound and tap into them.




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