“When young people are empowered and given the right opportunities, they become effective drivers of change”– Niyi Ojuolape
UNFPA Ghana has over the years worked with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Ghana to help develop the youth sector and ensure that the potentials of young people are fulfilled; key to the achievement of UNFPA’s mission.
Today, I paid a courtesy call to the newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif to discuss how UNFPA can continuously support his outfit to promote the development of young people.
Ghana has a very young population with almost 8 million (7,841,506) young people aged between 10 and 24 (GSS, 2010) and almost 6 million (5,523,576) adolescents aged between 10 to 19 (GSS, 2010). With such a youthful population, it is vital to invest in the youth today to achieve a demographic dividend.
I also used the opportunity to talk about the Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellowship Program by the organisation in line with the United Nations’ Youth Strategy which calls on all UN agencies to “increase impact and expand global, regional and country-level action to address the needs, build the agency, and advance the rights of young people in all their diversity”.
The YoLe Fellowship Program is also aligned to the priority areas of the 2010 Ghana National Youth Policy, which includes skills training in ICT, gender mainstreaming, networking and partnership, mentoring and reproductive health and rights for young people.
So far, 37 young graduates in Ghana have benefited from this fellowship by honing their skills in professional development, innovation, and leadership. Young people have the power to make sustainable development a reality, let’s invest in them.