The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned the state-of-the-art Koforidua Sports Stadium also referred to as the Youth Resource Centre, the first of ten such stadia with ancillary facilities being constructed across the country, on Thursday, 27th December, 2023 in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital.
Anchored on the ten-year youth development blueprint, approved by Cabinet in 2022, the President will in the coming days commission and hand over for use, five more of such identical projects in Wa in the Upper West Region, Ho in the Volta Region, Axim in the Western Region, Dormaa in the Bono Region as well as Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region.
Further, he has also requested, in accordance with Act 939 of the constitution, that the Ministry of Finance and the District Assembly Common Fund, allocate the necessary funds to the National Youth Authority to ensure the timely completion of the remaining four stadia with auxiliary facilities in Kaneshie in the Greater Accra Region, Navrongo in the Upper East Region, Yendi in the Northern Region, and Nyinahini in the Ashanti Region.
According to President Akufo-Addo, these legacy projects, are “envisioned as safe spaces for youth congregation and recreation, offering a diverse array of services, including state-of-the-art sports infrastructure, counseling centres, entrepreneurship hubs, and additional amenities that cater to the multifaceted opportunities presented to our youth.”
“I need you to keep in mind that this is not merely a structure; it represents a commitment to creating an environment where our youth can thrive, develop essential skills, and contribute meaningfully to our national development agenda. It is a facility that proves the commitment of the ruling New Patriotic Party to retaining talents, and raising them to compete on an international level,” he stated.
He added that, “this significant achievement is a testament to our dedication to fostering sports excellence, empowering the youth, and creating avenues for skills development.”
Such vision, he continued is premised on a pledge “to bolster sports development, empower the youth, and provide opportunities for skills acquisition. Today, I am here to fulfill that commitment, and hand over to you, the esteemed community of the Eastern Region, your state-of-the-art stadium with auxiliary facilities.”
Recognising that the 21st century global landscape is marked by rapid urbanisation, with a substantial population of youth residing in low-income countries and some sixty percent of Africa’s population being under the age of twenty-five, the President said, “we find ourselves on the cusp of a demographic dividend, which can largely be considered an opportunity for growth and development.”
Still on the systemic pursuit of securing the future for the youth, he echoed the 2024 budget statement outlining the Finance Minister’s 2024 budget announcement that the Ministry and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is in the final stages of negotiations with CCI Global, a prominent business process outsourcing operator in sub-Saharan Africa to establish a cutting-edge call centre, poised to generate directly twenty thousand (20,000) local job opportunities for young graduates.
This strategic initiative, he added, “not only aligns with the broader economic vision, but also underscores our commitment to youth empowerment, leveraging the potential of the business process outsourcing sector to engender substantial employment opportunities, and contribute to the sustainable development of the nation.”
“We have operationalised the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), through which government achieves a transformative impact on the youth by nurturing a conducive ecosystem for start-ups and small businesses. This policy is carefully designed to provide integrated national support, emphasizing business development services, startup incubators, and crucial funding.”
On sector growth, President Akufo-Addo said, tourism related jobs totaling 277,985, reflected a 10% increase from last year, whilst providing growth training to 6,000 young individuals engaged in various roles, such as cooks, security personnel, and tour guides will focus on unearthing talent within the tourism value chain in 2024. Just as the 1D1F initiative, under which we have provided employment for some 160,000 Ghanaians across a hundred and 169 new factories.
He disclosed that the YouStart programme, which is meant to support the youth to build commercially viable businesses will receive GH¢200 million, and US$150 million from the World Bank, all aimed at supporting youth enterprises, and lifting our youth out of unemployment.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency, Republic of Ghana.