President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the comprehensive transformation agenda being embarked upon by the National Service Scheme, which is tied to the new strategic direction of other pro-youth agencies, is addressing the specific employment needs of young people.
This youth-driven transformation agenda, according to him, relates primarily to training and skill development, the provision of pre-employment support activities, as well as instilling the values of civic responsibility, discipline, nationalism and volunteerism.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at the launch of activities to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the National Service Scheme at the Auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra.
To this end, the President stated that “several youth development programs have been put in place, which not only prioritize young adults’ needs and build the skills needed to become productive and successful members of society, but also strengthen young people’s sense of identity and belief in the future.” Citing the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), the Ghana Enterprises Agency’s (GEA) YouStart Programme, and the Commission for Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (CTVET), he said, “My government, since 2017, has engaged young people, including National Service Personnel, in intentional, productive and constructive ways, whilst recognizing and enhancing their strengths.”
Under the Economic Enclave Programme, for example, President Akufo-Addo noted that the NSS will, in the next four years, make a significant contribution to the agriculture sector.
Deploy 65,000 graduate youth to the Agricultural Enclaves, create 81,000 jobs in agriculture and its allied sectors, and develop 20,000 hectares of land for production, in addition to the production of 110,000 metric tons of food and production of 1.5 million birds. This, he said, will result consequently in the generation of revenue of some US$92 million by year four.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that, for the first time in its existence, the NSS will lay a Draft Policy document before Parliament, which will transition the Scheme to the status of an Authority, thus providing a legal framework for the envisioned ‘Deployment for Employment’ (D4E) model that is designed to encourage young graduates to create a positive impact and contribute to the development of our nation.
The President, in his address, paid glowing “homage to the Members of Parliament who deliberated on the draft NSS Bill that culminated in the passage of Act 426. They include the late statesmen, J. H. Mensah, A. A. Munufie, Peter Ala Adjetey, Harry Sawyerr, and Kwaku Baah, among others.”
Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, advised the NSS to strive to align its activities with the nation’s development agenda.
The Executive Director of NSS, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, said the Scheme was able to deploy more personnel to support the health sector, the education sector and the civil service.
Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, lauded the government’s Free Senior High School policy, saying it has provided opportunities for over 1.4 million students to attain a secondary school education.