Youth unemployment will be the next pandemic to hit Africa if… – UN Peace Ambassador

The United Nations Peace Ambassador in Ghana, Bishop Samuel Ben Owusu, has expressed worry that youth unemployment is going to be another major catastrophe to hit the African continent if measures are not taken to address the menace.

The Senior Pastor at the Pottersville  Church and  also the Country Director  of International Association  of World Peace Advocates implored African governments to as a matter of urgency initiate measures to tackle the problem.

Addressing the press in Accra on Sunday after his trip to the UN General Assembly in New York, he said “I told the president that as we are fighting Covid 19 today, if we are not careful the next pandemic that will hit Africa will be youth unemployment if we do not have a very deliberate strategy  for the youth of Africa.

“Youth unemployment has contributed to a lot of crimes, this has contributed to social bully, social media insults and more especially hate speeches.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has also said the most serious threat to Ghana’s security is unemployment but the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fixing it.

He urged heads of state agencies to adopt a more efficient use of public resources in order to maximise the values of what has been entrusted to them.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state institutions that state agencies have crucial roles to play if Ghana’s quest for less reliance on foreign support is to be achieved, hence the need for them to adopt innovative ways of transforming their respective agencies for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

“As Heads of Institution, we have a responsibility to constantly represent the Ghanaian people in a transparent and accountable manner,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“It is our responsibility to always maximize the value of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of everybody.”

Ghana Beyond Aid, the Vice President noted, is a long-term project, which requires enormous resources from both the public and commercial sectors, in keeping with the goal of becoming less reliant on the charity of external donors.

Stressing on the significant roles the public sector, in particular, is expected to play towards driving Ghana closer to the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, he urged the heads of institutions to “harness and use the country’s own resources to transform the economy effectively and efficiently for a rapid, but a sustainable growth path.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, to reform our specified entities in realizing a Ghana Beyond Aid, heads of institution, need to be more professional and transparent in their approach to public investments, as well as greater efficiency in the use of all public resources.”

“It necessitates a shift in thought and attitude so that we can begin to do things differently—smarter, more efficiently and effectively, and with a greater feeling of patriotism and civic responsibility.”

The Vice President also implored the heads of state institutions to uplift the technological capabilities of their respective organisations, in line with government’s digitization agenda, in order to boost their operations for the benefit of Ghanaians and also to contribute effectively towards the economic transformation of the country.

“To achieve the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid in the shortest possible time, we need to improve our technology capabilities,’ Dr. Bawumia said.

“According to Alexis Ohanian, you needed to open a factory to participate in the industrial revolution; this time around, you only need to open a laptop to participate in the internet revolution. There is a global paradigm shift, and we must not be left behind in this 4th Industrial Revolution,’ he added.

“This has been my primary inspiration for the digitization agenda; that is, to apply technological innovation to transform the ways and means by which we engage in our everyday production and exchange of economic activities. Whether at home, at our offices, farm and factory, whether it is person to person, person to business, business to business, or person and business to government, transparency and efficiency are our watchwords.”

“Our economic transformation can best be aided by digital transformation to overcome some of our development challenges.”

“For example, our use of drone technology in the delivery of medical supplies has helped us to overcome many challenges in the delivery of health care services to the people who live far in the rural areas and far from urban centres.”

“We save lives, provide more efficient management and distribution of critical medical supplies and gain more equitable access to the health care system.”

“When we apply technological innovations to the passport office, to DVLA, to the distribution of pre-mix fuel and fertilizers, we are improving on our production and service delivery capabilities to transform the economy.”

“That is why as heads of public institutions we take this opportunity to implore each one of you to join us in this transformation. Somewhere in your organization, somewhere in your production and delivery of services for a fee, technological innovation and digital transformation procedures can lift the performance of your organization, or help the organization overcome the obstacles we have faced for several years. It is all in innovations of processes, procedures and data management.”

The Vice President further called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions, which will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue. But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized.”

“As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector.

The government has announced the creation of one million jobs for the youth of this country.

This was announced by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in the budget statement for the 2022 fiscal year on Wednesday November 17.

He said “The understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders including youth associations and educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the YouStart initiative
which proposes to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners, raise another 2 Billion Cedis.

“In addition, our local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to GHC 5 billion over the next 3 years.

“This, Mr. Speaker results in an unprecedented historic 10 Bn Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.

“Mr. Speaker, YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and
operate their own businesses.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart.

“Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.

“NEIP will also engage our Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills, business competitions, and feasibility studies and introduction to financing institutions with a commitment of up to 10% of GOG contribution to the YouStart Programme.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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