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27.10.2004 Regional News

Work for a better future for the youth - Minister

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Accra, Oct. 27, GNA - Education, Youth and Sports Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Wednesday called on Ghanaians to bury their differences and work assiduously towards a better future for the youth. "The concerns and challenges facing young people today are such that we need pragmatic intervention and not ad hoc measures to tackle them," he said at a stakeholders' conference on National Youth Policy in Accra.

The Minister said the conference should be seen as a platform for social dialogue that would result in co-operation and trust among stakeholders in youth development.

The purpose of the conference is to bring together all stakeholders in youth development to discuss and adopt documents, which would give clear direction for the empowerment of the youth.

The documents are draft copies of the Revised National Youth Policy, Action Plan to Implement the Policy and National Youth Charter, an advocacy tool initiated by the National Youth Council and the youth to clearly state what the youth would like the Government and civil society to do for them.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said it was imperative that a realistic National Youth Policy was formulated to provide the necessary framework that would focus on youth development programmes.

For this to be possible, the policy should reflect the views and inputs of all stakeholders, especially civil societies, who were the direct beneficiaries of youth development, he said. He called on stakeholders to share ideas and experiences, which were crucial to national progress.

Mr Baah-Wiredu noted that Government was committed to improving on the lot of the youth, particularly the out-of-school youth, through education and training, entrepreneurial development and the promotion of youth recreation and sporting activities.

He said that providing skills training to the youth was high on the agenda of the Government and it was carrying out projects to provide each region with at least one youth leadership and skills training institute.

Apprenticeship and entrepreneurship training are also being promoted as a follow-up to other training and educational programmes to help the youth acquire relevant skills and experience to work with. Mr Baah-Wiredu said the National Youth Council had been charged to identify master craftsmen throughout the country to train junior secondary school graduates in various vocational skills to help achieve maximum results.

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