Future sustainable socio-economic development, job creation, incorruptible institutions, national peace and harmony amongst others depends on how we engage our Youth today.
Today we are seeing Young people visibly contributing as capacity building actors, business leaders innovators, entrepreneurs, and
peace-builders. It is interesting to note that whilst we see these positive actions, they face disproportionate social, economic and political barriers that prevent them from unleashing their full potential.
The Millennium Excellence Foundation continues to recognize citizens who have excelled and contributed to national development and the Youth are an integral part of this. Young men and women who are nominated today also serve as mentors for others to aspire to be like. What sort of business plans and ideas did they have? What strategies did they use? How dedicated and focused were they in spite of all the peer pressure and alternatives they are faced within society? Recipients of the President’s Outstanding Youth Prize are connected to larger networks which are a platform for others to join.
Literature and evaluation on youth entrepreneurship indicate that for mentorship to make a difference, mentors and youth entrepreneurs must have strong relationships based on clearly defined goals and obligations.
Understanding how to tap into the young population in Ghana is essential to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the UN, most of the youth in the region are facing several major challenges; including access to education, employment, and health care, which cause some to emigrate or even to radicalize. Therefore, engaging young people’s imaginations, talents, and energy for the future is the way we can achieve the SDGs for all.
I am certain that this initiative will unearth many more young talents required for National Development. The President’s Outstanding Youth Prize will be an annual initiative. In 2020, the Millennium Excellence Foundation will host the maiden President’s Outstanding Youth Conference where we engage and share knowledge for youth participation in National development. Young men and women from all the 16 Regions of Ghana will come together to share concepts with other Outstanding young folks from other Africa Countries.
Let me take this opportunity to Congratulate our proud Recipients of the 2019 MEF President’s Outstanding Youth Prize.