President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said youth empowerment through social innovations and entrepreneurship has credible potential to address the numerous economic challenges that confront the country.
President Akufo-Addo said the aspirations and needs of young people and the ability to meet their full potential, remain largely unmet due to the number of economic challenges the country is facing.
He indicated that for young people to be in a position to drive the country to where it ought to be, they must be equipped, trained, supported and put on a level playing field.
President Akufo-Addo made the assertion at the Head of State Gold Award ceremony at the Jubilee House on Monday where 200 young Ghanaians were honoured with the Head of State Gold Award.
Organisers of the Head of State Award Scheme seek to inspire young people between 16 to 25 years, who have completed all four sectional requirements plus the residential project of the award Scheme within 12 – 18 months.
Currently, half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, with 90 per cent of this group living in emerging and developing economies and with 50 per cent unemployed or underemployed.
Youth are an indispensable and yet under-utilised force to tackle global poverty and inequality. Their energy, passion and courage to challenge the status quo are needed to identify and address complex global problems.
But President Akufo-Addo said despite the odds against them, “we know that when the youth are empowered, development outcomes are improved.”
He expressed the need for the country to create avenues that would enable young people to explore, innovate and use creative ways to solve societal problems.
The skill gap does exist, he noted, adding: “but I believe programmes such as this award’s scheme create opportunities for young people to grow their skills, bridge their skill gap and be all-round citizens.”
He expressed interest in the Awards scheme’s global Youth mobilisation and digital award project which are enabling social entrepreneurship to address social problems in the country.
The President urged the youth to explore, dream and discover their enormous talents for the development of societies and the nations at large.
President Akufo-Addo again applauded the remarkable innovation, achievements and impact of the lives of young persons who have in the few years brought laurels to the country.
The award scheme is to equip and transform the lives of young people to be successful in life, by giving them a platform to discover and develop themselves through volunteerism, skills development, adventurous journeys and physical and recreational activities.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD