Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has urged Ghanaian youth to remain focused, and have a positive mindset about government’s ability and commitment towards the development and transformation of the country.
“Eschew the naysayers and those who want to distract you and wear you down. Ignore those who talk about impossibilities. Focus your minds, and have a mind-set of possibilities. If you put your minds to do it, you can achieve it,” he stressed.
Dr. Bawumia made the appeal when he addressed over 500 Ghanaian youth, drawn across the country, who were at Gomoa-Fetteh in the Central Region, attending the opening ceremony of the Ghana Youth Congress organised by the Christian Council of Ghana.
He urged the youth to understand that, with God and hard work, everything is possible, regardless of challenges confronting human beings.
The Congress, held under the theme ‘Ghana, My Home, My Future’, is the precursor to an African Youth Congress to be organised by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC,) aimed at engaging Africa’s youth in general, and Ghanaian youth, in particular, to build up moral character, explore the opportunities that exist on the continent, and disabuse their minds about supposed greener pastures elsewhere which leads to illegal migration and avoidable deaths.
Dr. Bawumia recounted how he, among several others, was the only member of the Tamale Methodist Boys’ Brigade who attended school without footwear and ‘studied’ Literature without a textbook, but still managed to be a PhD holder and Vice-President.
“Your present circumstances will not determine your future. What will determine your future are your dreams, aspirations and hard work. Work hard, study hard, build yourselves, and you will make it. I don’t see why Ghana and Ghanaian youth cannot be among the best in the world. I know you can do it,” he inspired the youth.
Touching on the role of the youth in nation building, he pointed out that approximately 67 percent of Africa’s population is reported to be under the age of 29, and governments on the continent, including Ghana, are exploring ways to help the youth develop their talents and capabilities to meet the growth aspirations of the citizens.
“With an estimated 6 million young people joining the labour force by 2024, the surest way to a sustainable employment path would not come from ‘waiting for a job’ but rather, by encouraging ourselves to apply our creativity and skills towards building opportunities across various fields,” he noted
He said government, under the stewardship of President Akufo-Addo, is focused on training graduates to acquire the needed skills required for the job market including an ongoing stakeholder engagement for skills revitalization in several sectors of the economy such as banking and tourism.
“As well, the construction and modernization of all National Vocational training Institutes (NVTIs) and Opportunity Industrialization Centers (OIC) is ongoing, with 17 Technical and Vocational Institutes across the country being upgraded and modernized so far,” he added.
Shedding more light on the aggressive digitalisation agenda being pursued by government, Dr. Bawumia said about nine million jobs in Ghana are expected to require digital skills by 2030.
He added that the provision of ICT infrastructure and capacity development programmes to provide digital training and up-skilling of the youth to equip them for the future is therefore key, hence the installation of telecommunication towers in remote communities, training of ICT teachers as trainers, and the operationalization of the Ghana Digital Centres.