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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has started a two-year programme on innovation and entrepreneurship to create jobs and deliver better outcomes for graduates from the country’s educational institutions.

The MIT is rolling out the programme, known as the Regional Entrepreneurs Accelerated Programme (REAP), in collaboration with the Ghana National Service Secretariat (NSS), youth programmes, the private sector and academia.

A statement issued by the REAP Ghana team said the programme started with an initial workshop, to be followed by three more over the next two years, adding that REAP was targeted at young graduates and unemployed young people.

Actions to be taken during and after the programme include realigning national resources and institutions to deliver effective support for the youth.

According to the MIT REAP team, “it has been impressed with Ghana's human capital and is eager to make our journey and outcomes a model for other developing countries”.

Launch

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said at the inauguration of the programme in Accra: “This initiative is overdue and a priority of the government. We have human capital, and by working with the best, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will deliver prosperity to all Ghanaians by providing opportunities for all our young people.”

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, is championing the Ghana REAP team working through the NSS.

Collaborators

Cities and countries that are collaborating with MIT on similar initiatives under the REAP programme include London, Madrid, Hebron, Lagos, Melbourne, Glasgow, Russia and Ecuador.

The rest are Lebanon, Singapore, Morocco, King Abdullah Economic City and Japan.

The programme taps into MIT’s world-renowned capabilities of leveraging learnings from other countries, as well as the rigour associated with this world-class institution.

According to a statement issued in Accra, it was the first time the collective leadership of youth programmes was being reengineered to make them 'fit for purpose'.

Other agencies expected to benefit from this project initiative include the National Youth Authority, the Youth Employment Agency, the National Board for Small-Scale Industries and the National Vocational Training Institute.

 

Source: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/mit-partners-nss-to-improve-job-creation.html

The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo has outlined eight strategies the government is employing to combat the increasing rate of youth unemployment in the country.

The Senior Minister in an address at the International Youth Day celebrations at the Osu Castle gardens on Friday said the NPP has outlined a number of programmes that seek to decentralise development.

According to him, policies such as the government's agricultural flagship programme "Planting for Food and Jobs", "One District, One Factory" and "One Village, One Dam," were some of the initiatives to tackle youth unemployment.

"We want to create opportunities for all Ghanaians, to safeguard the natural environment and ensure resilient built environment, we must maintain a stable, united and civil society and you constitute the key for that stability," Mr Osafo Maafo said in a keynote address delivered at the event.

"If you decide to be violent, we are all in trouble but I know you wouldn't and we should create a situation that you are not tempted to even be violent.

"The following will be pursued to create the needed jobs for the youth; government's agricultural flagship programme "Planting for Food and Jobs" but when you look at the detail of it the number of warehouses that we are creating to store surpluses that itself is a very major source of job creation... Distributing these involves a lot of job creation, Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), A cedi equivalent of $1million dollars for each constituency," he added.

He also listed the "One District, One Factory", "One Village, One Dam", Small Business Development and a stimulus package of $50 million for ail.

The Senior Minister also urged the youth not to be disappointed or despondent because the NPP has the best youth policies that will create the necessary environment for youth empowerment.

He also urged the youth to consider exploring avenues in areas such as tourism to create their own jobs.

 

The National Youth Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Samuel Awuku, has expressed confidence in the ability of President Akufo-Addo to deliver on the promise to provide jobs for the youth.

But he wants the process expedited because, according to him, while the government cannot fail the youth who voted massively to return the NPP to power, “time is also not on our side.”

Samuel Awuku was speaking at a presidential youth dialogue organized by the National Youth Authority and  held at the Osu Castle Gardens, Friday to herald International Youth Day which falls Saturday, August 12, to be celebrated on the theme; Youth Building Peace.

In attendance were Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, who delivered the keynote address, Youth and Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah, the Chief Executive of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Emmanuel Asigri and Madam Erika Goldson, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Acting Country Representative.

“Nana Addo recognizes the mandate that the youth of our country gave him and we cannot fail the masses. I’m confident the president will deliver, but Mr. Senior Minister let’s double up because time is also not on our side”, he said to spontaneous applause by a selection of youths from all 10 regions of the country to participate in the forum.

He pointed out that unemployment today presents the biggest obstacle to youth development as well as the biggest challenge to Africa’s security and should be fought on all fronts.

Samuel Awuku explained that since the devil always finds jobs for idle hands, much of the agitations over public facilities and office seizures would not occur if many of the youth were employed.

“I want the NPP government that the youth voted massively for, to also move beyond just the paper talk when we are solving youth unemployment. I say this because under the previous administration, it was always a fanfare when it was International Youth Day. At least today we are in the open, so we’ve moved from the air-conditioned room at the Conference Centre as it used to be, to face the reality under the sun. Today we are faced with big challenges across in terms of our youth. You have growing anxiety, and growing uncertainty and that is why at the least provocation the youth will either seize something or misbehave”.

“Whilst we always condemn and condemn in no uncertain terms, government must also lead the way in quickening the process in helping provide jobs for our teeming youth,” he said, capping the prompting with the popular refrain, “Boys abrƐ oo, boys abrƐ”.

He also called on the youth to end “the unnecessary agitations” that sometimes happen at the least provocation since it does not make the fight for youth employment any better.

“It doesn’t make us look good when we seize lorry parks or car parks. It weakens our front when we are seizing offices. In any case when you seize that office you cannot be the District Director, and if you sack that person who is occupying that office and you go to sit there, that does not mean your name is in the Controller and Accountant General’s book. So you are only occupying space.”

Samuel Awuku also cautioned the youth not to lend themselves to self-seekers who would engage them to fight proxy wars, saying “whilst we will not condone youth agitation, and whilst we also want to speak true to power, the older guys too should stop using the youth to fight proxy wars.”

Government must employ private nurses 

He also appealed to the government to employ private nurses who have finished school but are yet to receive clearance for posting.

Making the appeal through the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, Samuel Awuku said the trained but unemployed nurses have nowhere else to go.

“They have nowhere to go Mr. Senior Minister, and that is why we are running to government to help provide and lead the way.”

Samuel Awuku recalled that a few weeks ago, the nurses picketed at the Ministry of Health demanding to be enrolled by the government until they were prevailed upon to call it off.

“…and we had to go and beg them. For how long can we beg them? They’ve been in and out the previous government. I think our government must end the picketing so that they can also make ends meet”, he said, calling also for an end to lackadaisical approaches to tackling youth challenges.

 

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