A former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, has challenged the youth  of Ghana to seize the abundant opportunities Africa provides in order to be agents of transformational change on the continent.

He said there was too much negative information on Africa in the international news media, which generalised and exaggerated incidents happening in a country as though they were happening in the whole continent.

“But I want you, our children, to have a lot of hope, and see a lot of opportunity and have the confidence that you will transform this continent,” he told faculty and students of the University of Ghana, students of the Presec Senior High School and a cross-section of the public at the 2017 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures.

The 2017 lecture was on the theme: “Africa: A continent of hope, opportunity and transformation.”

Lost decades

Setting the context, Dr Yumkella said although he did not subscribe to the perception, people believed that Africa had the Garden of Eden syndrome; “everything can grow here.”

In addition to that was the abundance of natural resources. 

In contrast, people living in temperate zones have to be creative in the production and storage of food.

With all the endowment, however, the continent, during  the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s, seemed to have lost its way, with some people describing those periods as the “lost decades of Africa”.


Dr Yumkella pointed out that there were a lot of articles written about the continent which portrayed the hopelessness of the situation.


 Missed opportunity

Quoting Fareed Zakaria’s book, “The post-American world”, Dr Yumkella said the decades missed were decades when the world experienced the fastest growth rate in history.

Global output increased from about $22.8 trillion to $53.3 trillion by 2007 and before the financial crisis, global trade increased by 133 per cent, with China in that period taking over 500 million people out of abject poverty.

“But in Africa, in that same period, poverty increased,  with 93 million people, and in Ghana by 1975, the economy had shrunk by 12 per cent, inflation at one point was 30 per cent  and 116 per cent by 1997,” he said.

“That was Africa, while the world moving ahead, we were moving behind,” Dr Yumkella added.



“By the 2000s, change occurred,” he said, attributing it to change in govt structures; from bad regimes to good governance, fiscal discipline and the rhetoric of the international media.

Dr Yumkella said the projection now was that by 2050, there would be about 2.2 billion Africans, an opportunity for food production to feed the millions in Africa and others in the world.

He added that indications were that Africans had leap-frogged in embracing mobile technology, with the contribution of information technology (IT) to gross domestic product (GDP) projected to be 10 per cent by 2015.

Outlining five constraints to the achievement of the transformational projections, Dr Yumkella mentioned demographic transitions, investments, infrastructure development principally in the energy sector, good governance and climate change.

In managing the dynamics, Mr Yumkella proposed a developmental state with a progressive mindset on private sector development, clear policies on the energy sector and the use of Africa’s wealth to create opportunities for the youth.

Source: Graphic Online 29th March,2017

The Honorable Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Isaac Asiamah, has pledged Ghana’s readiness and preparedness to host the West African Secretariat of Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAYE-WA).

The Honorable Minister made this known at the launch of the CAYE-WA chapter in Accra on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017, at the Erata Hotel, Accra.

According to him, lastest releases by the African Economic Outlook, placed Africa as possessing the highest levels of unemployment globally; said that, Ghana’s stance to host the CAYE-WA secretariat at time when most governments the world over are seeking innovative ways of solving the youth unemployment crisis is line with Ghana’s accolade as a leading advocate of Pan-Africanism.

Ghana, therefore, lauds the initiative of the Youth Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat on Youth Entrepreneurship development as a noble initiative which will go a long way to address the menace of most governments in West Africa which is youth unemployment.

The Hon. Minister further urged the West African Chapter of CAYE not only to develop their skills, creativity, innovation, knowledge and confidence, but more importantly, accelerate the socio-economic and political integration of West Africa through peer learning and networking.

In his concluding remarks, the Hon. Minister acknowledged the fact that the Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Entrepreneurs- West Africa has come at an opportune  to help young people develop and build on their capacities let alone to support them to contribute meaningfully and to the sustainable development of their respective countries.

Participants were from Ghana and neighboring countries including Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and Cameroon. There were also solidarity messages, from the East African Chapter of CAYE and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.






Following his appointment by the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Akufo - Addo, Mr. Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri has officially met with Management and Staff of the National Youth Authority.

The first District Chief Executive appointee of Garu- Tempane in the Upper East Region under Former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration was in office between 2005 and 2009.

Mr. Asigri, in his first address as the current Chief Executive Officer for the National Youth Authority, assured his team of his resolve to restore the National Youth Authority to its lost glories and also steer the affairs of the Authority to achieve the mandates and aspirations of government for the development of the youth of this nation.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of the National Youth Authority, Mr. Asigri run a business in food processing under a company named Upper Star Foods, for the local and Export markets. He also worked in the United States with Export of International Appliances Company between 2014 and May of 2016 until his return to Ghana.

Mr. Asigri who is married with a lovely son, is poised for action and success to position both formal and informal youth of the country into the job market.

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