Kumasi, Oct 23, GNA - Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Regional Co-operation and NEPAD, said on Sunday that 200,000 children would be covered in the first year of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD initiative school feeding programme.
He said the pilot programme involving 10 primary schools in 10 deprived districts in all regions started early this month and would end in December 2005.
This was contained in a presentation on "The Role of the Youth in Making NEPAD Achievable" read on his behalf at a three-day Ghana Youth Stakeholders Summit at the Christian Village in Kumasi.
The summit, organized by Youth in Action for Development and Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), was under the theme, "Youth Empowerment and Development, Ghana's Catalyst for Development" and attended by over 50 youth leaders from youth organizations, non-government organizations, community-based organisations and representatives of some political parties.
The summit discussed among other issues "Civil Rights and Responsibilities of the Ghanaian Youth" and "Building a stronger advocacy network among the youth".
Touching on other benefits of the NEPAD initiative, Dr Apraku said this included the African Development Bank (ADB) supporting the Tema-Aflao road rehabilitation project with 21.15 million dollars for the Akatsi-Aflao section and 18.3 million dollars for the Akatsi-Dodze-Neope road-upgrading project.
He said the ADB was also supporting the Mali-Burkina Faso-Ghana road project with 97.82 million dollars and that the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre has been established as a regional centre of excellence as part of the G-8 NEPAD Action Plan. Dr Apraku said, "While deliberating on the roles the youth can play to achieve NEPAD's principles, tremendous efforts must be made to address the challenges facing the youth some of which are unemployment, hunger and poverty and very low access to the new modes of communication".
In this regard, he said, young people must not be a sector concern neither must they be placed at the tail end of programmes of regional revival and socio-economic integration.
Instead, young people must constitute an integral part of the process of development across all sectors and field on interests such as in NEPAD, he said.