The Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on African countries to address mass unemployment, which can undermine social cohesion, peace and stability.
Speaking at the YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2021, Dr. Bawumia said unemployment can be resolved through increased investment in young people through quality and diversified education and training.
He explained that Africa’s growing population does not guarantee economic growth, but rather strategic investment and development modules as shown by the Asian Tigers and Costa Rica, which should be an inspiration.
Touting the achievements of the Nana Akufo-Addo government on the digitization of national identities and address systems, he disclosed that by next year 2022, there will be a complete agreement between Ghana and Google to integrate the country’s digital address system into Google map.
The summit was held on the theme ‘Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities.’
The AfCFTA Secretary-General, Wankel Keabetswe Nebe, said the full implementation of AfCFTA will provide a conducive environment for businesses including Medium and Small-Scale enterprises to trade across nations.
“If AfCFTA leaves behind women, vulnerable groups and young people it will not be successful”, he remarked and called for “action steps to make young people benefit from the initiative” as about 100 million people will be taken out of poverty and lead to entirely removing extreme poverty from the continent.
The President of the Confederation of African Football, Patrice Tihopane Motsepe in his address called on African governments to create an education system which equips “young people with skills relevant in the fourth industrial revolution” as well as provide the youth opportunities “where young people see themselves as employers.”
“One of the things we have learned is that we should populate our curricular in close partnership with private sector and investors to make sure that from an African Youth perspective we provide the skills where the youth do not only invite opportunities but see themselves as employers and entrepreneurs,” he said.
He further encouraged African youth to develop self-confidence to compete at the global level.
The UN Resident in Ghana, Charles Abani, reiterated that the African youth are not a homogenous group, therefore governments must endeavor to hear them and ensure that no one is left behind as the “UN is already doing a lot through UNDP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, etc.”
“The youth are not the problem, but part of the solution” and need reinforced resources because they don’t have the support like existing businesses.
Therefore, “the Ghana Beyond Aid requires new investment and private sector growth,” he said.
Among other dignitaries present at the summit were YouthConnekt Africa Hub, Executive Director, Oulie Keita, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, UN Resident Coordinator, Ghana, Charles Abani, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Ghana, H.E LIM Jung-Taek, Representative of Rwanda, and NYA.