The Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Curtis Perry Kwabla Okudzeto has led a delegation to Malta to participate in the Second Commonwealth Youth Ministerial Taskforce Meeting.

The Second Ministerial Taskforce Meeting is under the theme: “Resourcing & Financing Youth Development: Empowering Young People.

Addressing the plenary, on November 5, the Deputy Minister was hopeful that the YouthConnekt Summit which was held in Rwanda would go a long way to continue to propel entrepreneurship, creativity and innovative drive among young people to take advantage of job creation opportunities in the digital space and other areas.

He noted that the YouthConnekt programme is a multifaceted Youth Empowerment Model focused on leveraging youth employability, entrepreneurship and civic engagement through innovation.

Outlining some of the initiatives undertaken by the Akufo-Addo Government, Hon. Curtis Perry Kwabla Okudzeto disclosed the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and the Youth Livelihood Farms programme spearheaded by the National Youth Authority (NYA) to help reduce youth unemployment.

He explained that under NABCO, One Hundred Thousand (100,000) graduates have been enrolled in a move to address graduate unemployment with the focus on health, education, agriculture, technology, governance and drive revenue mobilization whilst NEIP has also been supported with an amount of Ten Million Dollars (US$10,000,000.00) as seed fund for startups for young people with entrepreneurial ideas and projects.

Expressing concerns on the fight against drug abuse, the Deputy Minister stated, “The recent development in the abuse of the use of tramadol and other substances has become a worrying trend. The National Youth Authority (NYA) through its operational outlets in the regions and districts has launched the Campaign against Tramadol and substance abuse during the 2018 International Youth Day. The next step is to establish Rehabilitation Centers across the country to rehabilitate victims of Tramadol and other substance abuse”.

Hon. Okudzeto, recommended to the meeting that a platform should be created at the Commonwealth Secretariat, to collect and collate progress made by member countries on commitments or resolutions made at the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in the various sub-region. This he believes will promote effectiveness in the role of the Taskforce.

The delegation included the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, Emmanuel Signyet Asigri, Mrs. Dianah Boateng, Protocol Officer, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Director for Administration (NYA), Mr. Ekow Eshun, Administrative Officer (NYA), Miss Anita Abonyi and Miss Agnes Ashun, Board Member, NYA.