Youths must see climate change as an opportunity

By Seyifunmi Adebote Accra

Director of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment Dr Pete Tarfa has urged youths to see climate change as an opportunity for growth and national economic advancement.

Tarfa made the call at the Accra International Conference Centre in Ghana, when he met some Nigerian youths’ delegates attending the ongoing International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) in commemoration of the Africa Climate Week. The theme was: ‘Africa climate week is a race we can win’.

Six youth delegates from Nigeria attended the event. They are: Babatunde Enitan, Abiodun Adekoya, Rukayat Odebiyi, Moses Eboigbe, Prosper Egeonu and ‘Seyifunmi Adebote.

“One thing I want Nigerian youths working in the area of climate change to do is to open their eyes to the many opportunities that surround climate change,” Tarfa began.

He continued, “Before now, we used to see climate change as a tragedy, a woe, and something to be scared about. Today, there are a lot of opportunities that climate change has brought.

“As young people, you should begin to see how you can create jobs from climate change – in the area of renewable energy, solid waste management, writing, advocacy, creative expressions like literature, poem or music, just to push out the message of climate change.

“One major problem we have in Nigeria is deforestation, most women in the local communities cook with firewood and some of them are dying because of the effects of smoke on their health. Young people can partner private companies, creating innovative clean cook stove solution. Those products can be sold to the huge market in Nigeria. That way, you make money and impact lives. I want to see Nigerian youths who have understood climate change to look out for opportunities in the areas renewable sources of energy to provide power for the millions of people off-grid. Waste management is another big issue in Nigeria, single-use plastic recycling, architecture and many other aspects.”

Source The Nation

Ghana: Youth in Politics and Entrepreneurship summit: To help tackle youth unemployment

By Ike Dzokpo

Every year, tons of youth graduate into the labour market without a clue of their future despite all efforts made in creating more jobs, the unemployment rate is on the increase.

On another side, our political terrain has shown the enormous involvement of youths in politics. The outcome has not been the best since lots of youths are ill informed of what POLITICS entails, the role and responsibility of the younger citizens.

In a bid to advance the youths from the university level, The Youth in Politics and Entrepreneurship summit was initiated.

The summit was aimed at guiding and inspiring university students to excel as students, spend their time and resources in viable investments, seek avenue for entrepreneurship; and be positively involved in politics to the betterment of the economy and society at large.

The summit was jointly put together by GP Africana Concept Int’l, Finding The Future Ghana and the Students Representative Council (SRC) of Valley View University, Dodowa, Ghana with support from Databank Group.

Speaking at The summit was Mr. Joe Jackson, The Director of Business Operations of Dalex Finance.

According to him: “OVER 40% OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HAVE NO EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS WHEN THEY GRADUATE’. He further said that Entrepreneurship is no longer a choice; but the only viable employment option available to lots of young graduates in the country.

Looking at the efforts and outcomes of past and present government, Ghana still has a long way to go in tackling the depressing phenomenon of joblessness because it is not creating enough opportunities for the teaming graduates.

Drawing the attention of participants to the disappointment in job searching, he said: “you are not going to get your dream job when you walk out of this institution. You may have to create one”.

Mr. Joe Jackson attributed the situation on partisan politics, widespread corruption, greed and recklessness in the country. He bemoaned the trend that if you are not blessed with people, parents and guardians with ‘connection’ to get you slotted into the very few jobs that are being created, you are in trouble.

Anchoring his presentation on the theme: “PRESS ON, he said there is good news! Entrepreneurship could earn you a lot of money but the journey is arduous and requires a lot of time. Just start and press on…and success is assured”.

Believe in your dream even when others do not, and be sure there is need for whatever you are doing. Being an entrepreneur does not mean you are opting for less; sometimes, you are opting for more.

Just be ready to fail and use the lessons from the failure to improve the rest of the journey. Self-belief, faith, perseverance, hard work are key characteristics that will see you through as an entrepreneur, he admonished the students.

The summit ended with questions answers and responses from various parties.
President of the Students Representative Council of the University said, “…the realities on the ground as revealed to us by Mr. Joe Jackson were staggering. He shared his real life experience with us as a successful entrepreneur. It felt so real, revealing and very interesting…”

CEO of GP Africana International, Mr. God’spower F, spoke fondly about the initiative and said “… our mission is simple, we want to whip up the interest of the youth in politics and entrepreneurship. The speaker was explicit, he gave us exactly what we were expecting as organizer and this reflected in the responses from the students and staff…”

The Program Director and CEO of Finding The Future Ghana expressed gratitude to Databank Group for her support as well as the entire university community. He further said that this summit was carefully plan to guide and inspire participants to take responsibility of their success in life. Getting involved in politics and being an entrepreneur are vital roles all youths shouldn’t neglect.

Also present at the event were Hon. Isaac Otu Zorh (Shai Osudoku Constituency) and Hon. Patrick Dei-Lartey, the Chairman Business Advisory Committee and Assembly Man (Salem Dodowa) representing the Honorable Member of Parliament for Dodowa Constituency and Staff of Valley View University.

Source News Ghana

Ghana: Our Africa’s Wealth Must Go into Empowering Our Youth


Africa must develop a strategy to reap the demographic dividend that the continent’s youthful population offers, Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

Thus, African leaders ought to leverage the continent’s vast wealth to develop and empower their respective youth populations, which are the largest generation of young people in history.

Delivering a speech at the weekend at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, Boston, United States of America, on the theme “Empowering the Youth, Africa’s Golden Future”, President Akufo-Addo noted that the population opportunity would not automatically guarantee the continent a future of growth and prosperity.

He was emphatic that though there was great hope in the capacity of the youth to shape the future of Africa and make Africa the lion that it was meant to be, “Demographic dividends do not come automatically. They have to be earned.”

To realise the demographic dividend, African countries, the President stressed, have to invest in the empowerment, education and employment of young people.

“No one needs to tell us that mass unemployment in Africa, especially amongst her youth, is a ticking time bomb. The so-called Arab Spring showed clearly that lack of employment opportunities can undermine social cohesion and political stability. With between 10 to 12 million youths joining the labour market every year, Africa has to pay maximum attention to job creation,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo held that increasing investment in young people, and promoting quality education that prepared them for the future, was key to stemming the increasing trend of young people willing to risk everything to improve their circumstances.

“That is why the Free Senior High School policy, instituted by my government two years ago, which is expanding dramatically access to secondary school education for all of Ghana’s young people, is opening up greater and greater vistas of opportunities for Ghana’s young female population. Legislation is on its way to redefine basic education to encompass kindergarten up to the end of senior high school, and make it compulsory for all of Ghana’s children,” he said.

Describing the 21st century as the century of science and technology, the President noted that the mastery of digital technology by African youth must be the compelling challenge for them if, indeed, they are to survive in this competitive, technological environment.

Additionally, with several economies on the continent dependent on the production and export of raw materials, President Akufo-Addo noted that there is no way these economies can produce wealth and prosperity for their peoples, especially their youth, explaining that “it is time we were responsible for processing our own resources. It is time that we, in Africa, manage our resources well, to generate wealth for our populations.”

President Akufo-Addo also advocated for the involvement of young people in decisions that affect them, explaining that Africa cannot talk about shaping the future without talking about the welfare and wellbeing of young people.

“It is important that Africa takes these ideas forward to harness the value of a youthful population, holding human rights, gender equality, development of human capital, and dignity at the centre of all our investments. Only by providing opportunities that open the future to all young people do we create a brighter future,” the President said.

The President stressed that Africa does not have a DNA that dooms her to failure, and that the continent, like all the other peoples that have succeeded, can make life meaningful and worth living for their own people.

“There is an abundance of dynamic, entrepreneurial talent on our continent struggling to express itself and take advantage of such conditions.

“We have to encourage this expression with full force, and ensure that we can stand on our own feet, and make it impossible for the systematic looting and plundering of our human and material resources, that have characterized much of our modern history, to continue. This is the significance of the concept of Ghana Beyond Aid, indeed, of Africa Beyond Aid,” President Akufo-Addo added.

President Akufo-Addo is on a nine-day visit of the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba. His visit to the United States is to honour outstanding invitations extended to him to participate in public engagement programmes there.

Source Ghana News Agency

Ghana: ‘Stop using zongo youth to cause mayhem’

By Hafsa Obeng

The Ghana Muslim Mission (GMM) has called on politicians to desist from using zongo youth to cause mayhem in the country.

Dr Sheikh Amin Bonsu, the National Chairman of the GMM, urged the youth, especially Muslim youth, to name and shame any politician, groups or individuals who made an attempt to use them for such acts.

“Per Islamic teachings and human wisdom, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be used for such acts. However, if Muslim youths fail to dissociate themselves from such acts, we will have no option than to come together to pressurise them to do so,” he said.

Sheikh Dr Bonsu said this at a press conference, organised by the GMM in Accra, to condemn some wrongs in the society and recommend ways to deal with them.

He condemned the recent attack on the New Times Corporation journalists encouraged them to be bold and prudent in their discharge of their duties.

“The law must deal drastically with anyone who attacks or tries to take away the independence of journalists who are important tools for promoting socio-economic development.”

The Chairman appealed to all nations to avoid violence, terrorism, racism, extremism, murder and all sorts of hate crimes.

Dr Sheikh Bonsu called on security agencies, especially the Ghana Police Service, to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties and to avoid extreme use of force on innocent citizens.

“We also appeal to all Ghanaians to be law abiding and appreciate the work of the Security Agencies, especially the Ghana Police Service, who are always with us on our daily routines,” he said.

On the GMM’s developmental projects, Dr Sheikh Bonsu called on government, politicians, and all Muslims to support its fund raising activities for the construction of a College of Education at Kukuom and similar projects in other regions.

The Ghana Muslim Mission is a non-political association of Muslims aimed at promoting the development agenda of the government and generally contributing to socioeconomic development.

It has over 120 schools nationwide as well as hospitals, technical and vocational training centres.

Source GNA

Ghana`s Finance Minister calls for Investment In African Youth

By Ellen Lindsey Awuku

Ghana’s Minister for Finance Hon Ken Ofori Attah had made an unannounced call at the 2nd African Youth SDGs Summit taking the opportunity to address the over 1400 youths present at the summit stating how much of an honor it was to be at the summit.

The minister commended Emmanuel Ametepey [3], the Convener of the summit and the 2030 Youth Alliance for demonstrating commitment to mobilize the active participation of the youth in the SDGs implementation. He was of the view that Africa is projected to have a quarter of the global population by 2050 and 35-40% of that would be an active youth population. This according to him translates into an incredible market and resource for Africa in terms of human capital. “The continent would therefore be faced with the challenge of whether the projected demographic blessing can be transformed into a blessing or a land where the people are sent out because opportunities are not opened up, which is the true challenge of most African Countries” he added.

Hon. Ofori Atta stated that, the vision of the Government of Ghana for instance, is to ensure no one is left behind and that training of the mind with given skills will enable everybody have the capacity to contribute to all the creative energies that the Lord has given them.

He emphasised that human capital is more important than everything else we do to create a self-confident society that is prosperous and has the capacity to leverage all its resources in a way in which the wealth is retained here. Ghana has taken the SDGs very serious and realize that the ‘5Ps’ of People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and peace is at the core of sustained and robust development with people being at the center of all planning.

In addition, he further mentioned that the first budget of the current government made attempt at abolishing as many taxes as possible to create economic space for people’s energies to work and is focus on how to empower this generation of people to ensure a much better preparation for the future. The government has also proposed century bond to push Africans and Ghana to think long term to socially reengineer how we think long term impacts of things that we do and how to plan them.The minister indicated that the youth and people at the center of all these ensures a discourse that goes beyond just rhetoric on social media but of people thinking of the future and government fulfilling its part of the social contract to ensure trust in governance as opposed to the cynicism that we have currently.

He also expressed that there is detection of a lot more seriousness of African governments with regards to where they want their nations to go and they are incorporating a lot of private sector people into policy making and very important Ministries. However, revenue is needed to do all these hence the role of the citizen and the nations. Empowered Citizens must do what they are supposed to do to contribute to the growth of their nations and must be confident in themselves to fight for their nations whether or not government is doing their part.

“I can confidently say that there is a class of finance Ministers beginning to be really clear about the centrality of the youth to build sustainability of the continent” he said.

In his concluding remarks, Hon. Ofori Atta mentioned that Africa loses about USD 70 billion through illicit trades and illicit financing has 75% being commercial transactions. However, citizens also work for the companies where these take place, hence he encouraged all especially the youth to be confident as a people to champion the development of the nations.

“Africa is a continent that must continue to be ours and governments look to continually support the youth in all they do”,he concluded.

Source Business Ghana

Ghana: Zongo youth must avoid being used for violence

By Samuel Dodoo

Madam Jane Amerley Oku, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Janok Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has advised the youth in the Zongo communities to shun politicians who would use them to cause violence.

“We are all one people and so we must not allow politicians to influence us with money to fight each other and kill ourselves for their parochial interest,” she said.

Madam Oku gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Sabon Zongo in the Ablekuma Central Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

“Why is it that the youth in some areas like East Legon, Cantonment and other prominent places were not being used by politicians to foment trouble, but always rely on those in the Zongos,” she asked.

The CEO said the country was approaching an election year and urged the youth in the Zongos to be cautious of their lives, adding; “What happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon during the by-election was a bad salt to be tasted and the youth must avoid such behaviours.”

Madam Oku entreated Ghanaians to help build a strong and vibrant nation by loving each other and say no to provocation and violence while being ambassadors of peace.

As part of the Foundation’s campaign to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases it distributed condoms to residents of Sabon Zongo.

“The free distribution of the condoms is to make you aware that the sexually transmitted diseases exist and for you to be careful,” she said.

Mr Ali Firu, on behalf of the youth at Sabon Zongo, called on the political parties to disband all forms of vigilante groups for peace to prevail in the country.

He appealed to the Government to find ways of creating more job opportunities for the youth to prevent the formation of such groups.

Source GNA

In reforestation, Ghana generates jobs for young people

In Ghana, the national reforestation program has rescued a number of young people from joblessness.

The country has started seeing positive signs of progress since the Youth in Afforestation Program started in 2018, according to Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission.

“All together, we employed about 60,000 young men and women for the afforestation program,” the CEO disclosed when he accompanied the media to the field recently to verify proof of work by the temporary youth workers of the commission.

Owusu-Afriyie added this year the commission planted about 10 million trees and if that is expected to be replicated over the next three years.

While the young employees planted trees on 8,000 hectares of land, the entire national reforestation program, which include what the regular staff of the Forestry Commission and the private sector, accounted for 26 million trees planted on 24,000 hectares over the past year.

Government spends at least 20 million Ghana cedis (about 3.84 million US dollars) monthly on the allowances of these temporary young workers alone, with the CEO arguing that the expenditure was justifiable due to the enormous benefits Ghana stood to reap in future.

“We are talking about 20 million Ghana cedis a month because of the sheer numbers. But you cannot quantify the jobs that they have done in monetary terms.”

“Trees have value and the value that the country will derive can not be quantified in any monetary terms. So the benefit that the entire country will obtain in the next 10 years to 20 years is what I am looking forward to and that is what gives us joy and hope to continue to soldier on,” he added.

The CEO lauded the young employees for their performance so far.

Part of the work of the Youth in Afforestation involves planting of trees within the buffer zones of the country’s water bodies.

At Tomefa, near the Weija Dam at south-western end of the capital, Esther Oppong-Agyei, head supervisor of the forest plantation staff, said the personnel sometimes had to spend their own money in watering the tender trees on the 13 hectares of stretch of land to ensure they survived the harsh weather condition of the dry season.

“We came here in the middle of June, given a two-year contract, and we are in the ninth month. With the help of the government, giving us logistics, the work has been effective,” she told the media.

Among the employees were field assistants, assistant supervisors, and supervisors. The supervisor pointed out that the field work was not easy, but with the morale, they have achieved a lot.

Tree planting along the Densu River at Tomefa is an intervention which, according to Paul Kwame Senahia, Chairman of the Densu Lake Protection Committee, was a timely intervention to prevent the danger of the lake drying up in the near future.

The Weija Lake has been experiencing pollution from cow dung, human feces, agriculture waste and other household wastes as a result of encroachment.

“The lake is so polluted because of encroachment. The buffer zone is supposed to be 300 meters from the river bank but people have encroached on the buffer zone.”

“If we do not do tree planting, the encroachment will come up to the lake and it will cause a lot of pollution to the water. So we appreciate what the government and Forestry Commission are doing,” the official stated.

In addition to Tomefa, tree planting has been going on in other areas, including Joma Agbozume in the Ablekuma District and the Achimota forest Eco-Tourism center where species like Mahogany, Ofram and Acacia are planted.

Speaking to the media in the Achimota forest, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio lauded the initiative and the hard work by the youth employees.

“This is going a long way to help in terms of decreasing the deforestation rate that we are seeing in the country. We are all witness to current harsh climate conditions that we are experiencing,” the deputy minister commented.

He argued that if the country had started this tree planting years back, the deforestation would have been reversed entirely.

“So this is a good beginning and we only need to continue to encourage Forestry Commission for the good work that they are doing. I have been very pleased to see this here,” the official added.

Source Xinhua

Ghana: Prof. Ransford Gyampo heads Youth Bridge Research Institute

Prof. Ransford Gyampo heads Youth Bridge Research Institute.png
Professor Ransford Edward Van Gyampo

By GNA Reporter

Accra, Feb. 18, GNA – Professor Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, one of Ghana’s young and astute Political Scientists, now heads the Youth Bridge Research Institute (YBRI), a subsidiary organisation of the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF).

The Institute was set up, to inter alia, conduct research that characterises the situation of the youth in Africa and African Diasporan youth, identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen youth development through practice and policy.

In a release issued to the Ghana News Agency, signed by Ms Elsie Appiah-Osei, Head of Communications, YBF, it said the YBRI under sponsorship of the African Youth Governance Convergence (AYGC) would undertake evidence-based academic research on young people in Ghana, Africa and among Diasporan youth.

It would make findings accessible to governments and policy makers across the continent.

It said it would engage in dialogue and advocacy to promote effective youth policy design and implementation; provide leadership training and mentorship for the youth; and create a platform for harnessing the zeal, enthusiasm and potential of the youth for national development.

Born on March 31, 1977, Prof Gyampo is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for European Studies of the University of Ghana, with 14 years of teaching and research experience.

Until recently, he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of South Florida, United States of America (USA). He currently serves as a Visiting Professor to the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

For 14 years, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs leading a number of research projects and playing a key role in the IEA’s Socio-Economic and Governance Surveys.

For 10 years, Prof Gyampo also served as Coordinator of the Ghana Political Parties Programme, a programme that brought together the leadership of Political Parties with representation in Ghana’s Parliament to discuss issues of national importance in a non-partisan manner and to propose practical solutions to them.

He is a member of Ghana’s Electoral Reforms Committee and played a key role in identifying the challenges of Ghana’s electoral processes and submitting electoral reform proposals to the Electoral Commission for the purposes of fine-tuning Ghana’s electoral system.

He is also a member of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA) Consultative Committee, a Committee set up by the Electoral Commission to research, consult and advise on the implementation of the law that mandates Ghanaians living abroad to vote in Ghanaian elections.

Prof. Gyampo holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Ghana and at Tufts University in Boston, USA. His research interest lies in the areas of Youth Empowerment and Development, Governance, Democracy, and Natural Resource Management.

He is of the firm belief and conviction that, “If the future belongs to the youth, then the youth must be developed and prepared for the future.” He is currently researching on “Youth Development, Mentorship, Empowerment and Participation” with the view to helping the building of a critical mass of responsible and mature young people for Ghana’s development now and in the future.

Prof Gyampo has more than 100 research works to his credit within his areas of research interest.

These have been published in internationally refereed journals across the globe as Books, Book Chapters, Book Reviews, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles, Technical Reports, Monographs and Policy Briefs.

Source GNA

Ghana: Chiefs, youth root for Mireku Duker as new Western Regional Minister

A-cross-section of traditional rulers and youth in the Western Region have made a passionate appeal to His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency, appoint the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Mr. George Mireku Duker as the new Western Regional Minister.

The recommendation follows the creation of the new Western-North Region and the re-assignment of current Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie as the interim Minister for the Western-North Region.

This revelation came to light when GhanaWeb sampled views of some traditional rulers and some youth in the Region regarding their expectations of the new Regional Minster.

According to them, Mr. Mireku Duker has worked at the Local Government sector and has the expertise in the local governance system and the decentralization process in the country.

He is also the Deputy Chairman on the committee of Mines and Energy in Parliament.

The youth contended that it is high time a young, vibrant, workaholic and humble young politician like Mr. Mireku Duker was appointed as the Western Regional Minister to bring his expertise to bear on development of the Region.

They said the time has come for the older generation to give way to young ones to man the Region with the zeal and energy at their disposal.

According to the youth, the Western Region abounds in rich natural and human resources but were yet to be harnessed holistically to inure to rapid development of the Region and the country at large.

The youth noted with concern that barely two years in office, Mr. Mireku Duker has initiated more developmental projects in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality.

What is more striking, they revealed, was how constant the presence of Mr. Mireku Duker was felt not only in his constituency alone, but most communities within the entire Region as he honoured most of the invitations extended to him during social functions and developmental durbars.

The youth were convinced that with his humility and sense of commitment and dedication to duty, Mr. Mireku Duker will work hand in hand with the traditional council, traditional rulers, politicians, security agencies, the mass media and all manner of persons who matter in the rapid socio-economic advancement of the Western Region.

Source Ghana Web

Ghanaian Government celebrates youngest Ghanaian female pilot

A young Female pilot, Ms. Audrey Esi Swatson has been celebrated by the Ministry of Aviation.

This move is to encourage young Ghanaians especially females to develop an interest in taking up various careers in the Aviation Sector.

The Minister, Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda at a Press briefing in Accra yesterday in honour of the youngest Pilot, noted that there are more opportunities for about 500,000 pilots globally.

He, therefore, made an appeal to the youth to attain training to fill up this gap within the West African Sub- Region.

He said he was pleased that Ms. Swatson had charted a course for the upcoming youth in the country, and this has broken the notion that certain jobs are the preserve of men.

“We commend you strongly for what you have done. It is very good for us here in Ghana especially those of us in aviation. What is most important for us is that you have shown the way about women flying aircraft,” Mr. Adda asserted.

The Minster further reiterated the government’s commitment to making the country an aviation hub for the whole West African Sub-region.

According to him, the Ministry is holding talks with various stakeholders and investors in the sector to roll out plans to expand current facilities at the airport and establish a repair and overhaul facility which is currently lacking in the West African Sub-region.

The expansion project is expected to create jobs for youths who wish to take up various careers in the sector with other services such as security services, vendors and various construction works in relation to the sector.

The 21-year-old, Ms. Swatson expressed gratitude to the Ministry and other stakeholders who have contributed to the achievement of her goals

She appreciated the Ministry’s gesture in recognising her efforts and wished that more should be done to support and encourage other female colleagues who are interested in pursuing courses in the aviation industry.

She said that even though the journey towards achieving her goal has not been easy, she was able to sail through with determination and support from her parents.

Source Ghana Web