The future is for the youth, Africa’s youngest but highest population. According to statistics from Mo Ibrahim Foundation, more than one third of the population of Africa in 2019 are young people aged between 15-34, which is equivalent to 60 percent of Africa’s population. By 2030, it is projected that this population will increase by 42 percent. Africa’s youth population is expected to continue to grow throughout the remainder of the 21st century, more than doubling from current levels by 2055.
This staggering statistic shows the vast wealth and potential that can be harnessed for the development of the African continent. Thus, empowering young people with knowledge and skills to play active role in nation-building is paramount to the development of Ghana.
During a courtesy call by the National Youth Authority (NYA) on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the acting Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana, Gita Welch underlined the efforts of UNDP in supporting young people with the requisite entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We believe that young people have the power to transform the economy of Ghana, so we will continue to support investment in the growth of our youth and co-create with them a space to share their ideas and innovations for sustainable development in Ghana“, she noted.
On his part, the CEO of NYA, Mr. Emmanuel Tettey thanked UNDP for the continued support and partnership, especially in the area of youth development.
“We are eager to implement more youth programs especially on initiatives that will unearth the creative potentials of young people, to actualize the youth empowerment and development goals of the nation and looking forward to more collaborations”, he noted.
He pledged the authority’s support to fulfil their part in strengthening the partnership that exists between UNDP and NYA.
UNDP, in partnership with the NYA, successfully launched Ghana’s Youth Connekt platform last year. This is an initiative to empower young people through the acquisition of up-to-date skills and training to promote employment, entrepreneurship opportunities and connect them with leaders and role models to facilitate peer exchange of ideas to shape a better future for the youth. Under the platform, 16 young innovators were awarded a total amount of 80,000 US dollars (5,000 USD each) through the Youth Innovation for Sustainable Development (YISD) challenge. The awardees are also benefitting from mentorships and coaching to scale up their innovations and grow their businesses.