This year’s International Youth Day (IYD 2022) which was held at the Anakagzo Bible and Ministry Training Centre in Akuapem Mampong in the Eastern Region saw the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as well as a host of other dignitaries speaking on promoting and strengthening developmental dialogue between the youth and opinion leaders for nation-building.
The theme, which centred on ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages’, saw the 3-day event highlighting on the maiden National Youth Conference, dialogue session for the dissemination of National Youth Policy, launch of the National Youth Policy, and conferment of the ‘Star of the Youth of Ghana Award’ on His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (President of the Republic of Ghana).
Welcoming participants and introducing the purpose of the event, the CEO of National Youth Authority, Pius Enam Hadzide, explained that the event was put together to touch on some important national issues such as peace and security, cyber security and cyber bullying, entrepreneurship, youth development, among others.
He further stated that at the 54th ordinary session of the UN General Assembly, the 12th of August each year was adopted by the resolution 54/120 as the International Youth Day (IYD). He explained that the decision was taken in order for the contributions of young people to community and national development to be celebrated and acknowledged, alongside reminding young people of the role they play in national and global development as a whole, and Ghana has been celebrating this day since 1999.
Touching on the topic: ‘Thinking outside the box’, focusing on how young people can engage and leverage on national and private sector-led institutions, the Executive Director for Ghana Startup Network, Mr. Solomon Adjei, explained to participants what his institution does and how the youth can engage with his outfit.
He stated that Ghana Startup Network works around four key thematic areas – capacity-building, policy advocacy, access to funding, access to market and trade facilitation. He mentioned that his institution is working on the Ghana Startup Bill which will be passed into a law to lay down certain incentive framework needed in starting and scaling up a business, and called on the youth and all Ghanaians to support the passage of this bill to help curb the perennial youth unemployment.
He also mentioned that the Ghana Startup Network acts as a bridge between the youth startups and institutions that support job creation, of which he mentioned the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Programme (NEIP), Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), Ghana Digital Centres Ltd., among others.
Solomon also touched on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an institution looking to make Africa a single market with over 1.3billion people.
Mr. Adjei delved deeper into creativity and how young people can think outside the box by admonishing them to find innovative solutions to national and global problems. He charged the youth to focus on strategic branding of their businesses, as well as thinking beyond Ghana as a market place, and leveraging on platforms such as the AfCFTA to trade beyond the borders of Ghana.