Accra, April 7, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday asked the Boards of the National Youth Council (NYC) and the National Sports Council(NSC) to decentralize their operations to make them effective. He said when the administration of the two institutions were made autonomous and decentralized the entire citizenry would be involved in their operations.
President Kufuor made the call when he administered the oaths of office and secrecy during the inauguration of the two Boards at the Castle, Osu. Eleven out of the 15-member National Youth Council Board sworn into office under the Chairmanship of Professor S. Asante Poku, Head of Biochemistry, Ghana Medical School (GMS) were, Mrs Majorie Beeko, of the Frederich Ebert Foundation (FEF) as Deputy Chairman.
The rest were, Mr Kwasi Korboe, Agricultural Economist, Ms Janet Kwami, Freelance Researcher Consultant, Mr Richard Quarshie, Youth Activist, Mr Deric Kusi Din-Chin, Businessman, Mr Abubakari Sadick Ahmed a Journalists and Nana Akosua Frimponmaa, Dwantoahema of Dormaa Traditional Area. The others were, Mrs Beatrice Quarmyne,from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Joe Mante, National Coordinator, NYC, and Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, a Lawyer.
Absent at the inauguration were Mr Felix Aboagye, a Banker and a Lawyer, Mr Komla Dumor, Operations Manager, Multi Media Broadcasting, Mr George Addai Fosuhene, Banker, and a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development.
The 10-member National Sports Council (NSC) Board also inaugurated with Dr. Henry Augustine Pufaa, Lecturer, University of Education, Winneba as Chairman, were Mrs Lydia Lariba Bawa, a lawyer, and Professor Mrs. Dorcia Fiano, lecturer, University of Ghana, Legon.
The rest were, Nana Kwasi Gyan III, Atipimhene of the Berekum Traditional Area, Ex-Player/Financial Consultant( known as Agyeman Gyau who played for Republicans, Black Stars and Brong Ahafo United).
The others were Ken Bediako, Journalist, Mr Kwabena Sarpong, Engineer, Ms Ekua Dodoo, Student, Mr Albert Agboso, the Acting Chief Executive of the NSC, Commodore Muhammed Munir Tahiro,representing the Ghana Armed Forces and Commissioner of Police, Richard Kojo Safo-Kwateng, representing the Ghana Police Service.
President Kufuor said the 50 Billion cedis allocated to the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports was the seed money for decentralized institutions involved in youth activities.
He said decentralizing sports activities alone would not be enough therefore, the Board should be innovative to elicit support of the private sector to invest in sports for professionalism in sports at competitive level.
President Kufuor said both Boards were expected to be transparent and accountable, ethical and morally in their operations, especially moving the youth to a very high level.
He said with transparency and accountability, the youth would be inspired to attain very high levels in their endeavours and while sports in Ghana had gone down, Ghanaians want Ghana to regain its position and encourage more laurels from sports, especially football with a Ghanaian club emerging a champion on the Continent.
"If Ghanaians do not see any improvement and successes in sports, they would criticize. The NYC Board should develop a thick skin and make the people to believe that the youth were being given the right direction to grow as future leaders of Ghana", he said.
President Kufuor announced that the Acts on the youth and sports were outdated and being reviewed to make them relevant to the needs and aspirations of Ghana.
He said it was to regenerate the Ghanaian society that both youth and sports were placed under an umbrella Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
President Kufuor said it would restore youthfulness to young people and with sports now becoming very professional and commercial, sports resources should be from educational institutions to get the young talents to mature to professionalism.
He said such efforts would satisfy the yearning for excellence in competitive sports, therefore the NSC Board should have a vision to rejuvenate society to have more love for sports and work to improve sports infrastructure in Ghana to enable the youth fulfil their ambitions and talents in sports.
President Kufuor said most of the youth were afflicted by streetism, drop-out from schools, sleeping in the open and on the wayside. He stressed the need to protect the youth, nurture them to grow up to continue with the social development of Ghana as future leaders and citizens.
President Kufuor said to ensure the youth were able to take up the mantle in future and be responsible, " we should not look on unconcerned, our policy should be to groom them up to assume very good positions and be relevant to society".
"You have to work together to prepare the youth to open their moral and intellectual abilities up. The two Boards are very important, therefore, you have to approach your work with all seriousness", he added.
Professor Asante Poku, Chairman of the NYC Board, said Ghana's future depended on the youth who constitute about 26 per cent of the population. He said the Government and the citizenry must create the needed environment for them to develop, put information at their disposal, support youth activities and education.
Professor Asante Poku said the challenge was how to create the enabling environment for the youth and this required finance and infrastructure. He pledged that the members would bring their collective experiences, skills and wisdom to bear on the vision and mission of the NYC.
Dr Pufaa said inauguration of the NSC Board marked a milestone in the history of sports in Ghana since there had never been such a Board. He said the members were aware of the problems affecting sports in Ghana and thanked the Government for the opportunity to put into practice their expertise and skills to promote sports.
Dr Pufaa said the youth would find it difficult to live without sports and the Board would collaborate with the NYC Board to lift Ghana from the doldrums.
He said the Board required to develop a strategy, not only in Ghana but from the world, market sports in Ghana and resources embodied in the new sports Act.
"We are ready to put our time and energy into sports to make it succeed. We want to give our support, time and energy to make sure government's policy on sports was implemented and achieved results", he said. Dr Pufaa said the Board was aware of the poor sports infrastructure in Ghana and efforts would be made to develop the sports potentials in Ghanaians to ensure sports in Ghana lived up to expectation.