Two hundred and eighty finalists of the intensive youth innovation programme, under the Head of State Award (HoSA), have been awarded for their outstanding performance.
These young individuals from across Ghana received medals for their outstanding performances in the project.
The award scheme characterised by the HoSA as a “structured, non-formal education, youth development programme, seeks to empower persons aged 14-24 to explore their full potentials and discover their true purpose, passion and place in the world, irrespective of their location or circumstances.”
The young finalists, primarily from senior high schools, completed various tasks and were evaluated. The scheme encourages young persons to engage in a variety of activities, fostering versatility and a positive life outlook.
At an event to celebrate these young persons’ contributions and achievements to youth development at the Jubilee House last Friday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pledged to support the completion of the HoSA Secretariat in Accra and commended the exemplary work of the award winners.
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 reasons including economic challenges.
For young people to be in a position to drive the country to where it ought to be, he said they must be equipped, trained, supported and put on a level playing field.
Currently, half of the world’s population is under age 30, with 90 percent living in emerging and developing economies and with 50 percent unemployed or underemployed.
Youth are an indispensable and yet underutilised 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.
In spite of these odds against them, President Akufo-Addo said it is clear 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, the President noted, adding that, programmes such as the HoSA create opportunities for young people to grow their skills, bridge their skill gap and be all-round citizens.”
He, thus, urged the youth to explore, dream and discover their enormous talents for the development of societies and the nations at large.
President Akufo-Addo also applauded the remarkable innovation, achievements and impact of the lives of young persons who have in the few years brought laurels to the country.
Mr. Kwasi Twum, CEO of the Multimedia Group and Uncle Ebo Whyte, playwright and CEO of Roverman Productions, were also honoured for their contributions towards youth development.
The Head of State Award is a positive challenge for both corporate and young people. It is not easy but it is rewarding.
It is the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Ghana and a member of the International Award Foundation, the world’s leading youth achievement award that brings together practical experiences to create committed global citizens through the provision of a balanced programme that challenges and equips young people with positive life skills.
It provides a leisure time activities and a rewarding agenda that fills the gap left by formal tuition and equips young people with life skills, builds their confidence and engages them with their communities to make a difference to themselves and the world at large.
As a non – formal educational programme, the Award plays a vital role in providing opportunities for young people to develop essential life skills, complementing their formal education.
Its success is evidenced by the fact that it has spread to over 140 countries and territories.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD