Dignitaries at the event.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Sylvester Matthew Tetteh, has commended Ghanaian youth for their ingenuity in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the youth, despite challenges posed by the pandemic, have contributed immensely towards Ghana’s Covid-19 fight through acts of volunteerism, innovation and enterprise.
He explained that countless youth have joined the National Youth Authority’s Covid-19 Youth Campaign and are educating members of their communities to adhere to social distancing protocols and abide by the Covid-19 safety and preventive measures proposed by the President and the Ministry of Health.
“Youth entrepreneurs are also ramping up production and sale of hand sanitizers, veronica buckets as well as inventing mechanical and solar-powered handwashing devices to inspire frequent hand washing and save lives.
With enough support, our youth can do much more to augment the exertions of the government, organizations and the citizenry against the novel Coronavirus,” he said.
Mr Tetteh further assured the youth of NYA’s support in areas hard hit by the pandemic adding that the Authority is poised to tackle the challenges in areas like education, hospitality and the creative arts.
He was speaking at the opening of the International Youth Day set aside to create awareness, recognize the efforts of young people and empower them to be at the forefront of national and global development.
Ghana celebrated the Day on the theme: “Youth Engagement in Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19; the Need for youth innovation and creativity,” with the global theme being: “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.
Guest Speaker for the occasion, Wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, said it was important that the world empowered the youth in responding to the pandemic since they were a critical and valuable force in development.
“Young people can play critical roles in disseminating accurate information on COVID-19. Tackling risk and stigma, policing fake news and supporting information sharing on risk education, national preparedness and response efforts,” Mrs Bawumia said.
Mrs Bawumia said young people should find new and innovative ways to communicate with their governments through channels such as radio and social media platforms to access medical and other essential services.
She said they could also help mitigate the impact of the crisis in the long term by promoting social cohesion and countering hate speech, xenophobia, human right violations, and violence.
UNFPA Country Representative, Niyi Ojuolape, expressed the commitment of the United Nations and its agencies in investing in the youth including listening to their voices and ensuring their meaningful participation in decision making.
“We will go beyond that by investing in young people participation, organisation and initiatives, thereby, safeguarding their ability to lead in achieving the SDGs…,” he said.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, praised Ghanaian youth for proving to be key actors in finding solutions to global challenges.
“We commend our youth for their high spirit of volunteerism, nationalism and patriotism,” Mr Asiamah said, and expressed government’s commitment to supporting them in all aspects of their development.
The occasion was graced by dignitaries including Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Mr Freddie Blay, NPP National Chairman, NPP National Organiser, Sammy Awuku and Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare, Chief of Staff.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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