Ghana to depend on youth to propel devt – President

President Akufo-Addo (left) and Ms Christine Evans Klock unveiling the clothe to launch AU Demographic Dividend Roadmap.Photo.Ebo Gorman

President Akufo-Addo (left) and Ms Christine Evans Klock unveiling the clothe to launch AU Demographic Dividend Roadmap.Photo.Ebo Gorman

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed the need to harness the country’s democratic dividend for the accelerated development of the country.

He stressed that the country’s youthful population presented a great opportunity to propel the development of the country.

President Akufo-Addo said this in Accra yesterday when he launched the African Union (AU) Strategic Roadmap for Harnessing Demographic Dividend in Ghana.

It was on the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.”

The Strategic Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend developed by the African Union (AU) and adopted by Member States, provides a framework on measures Member States of the AU should institute to harness the potentials of the Demographic Dividend.

The AU Roadmap explains that Demographic Dividend describes a process of accelerated economic growth that begins with changes in the age structure of the population of a country as it moves from high to low birth rates.

According to the Roadmap, the current demographic transition in Ghana lends to support the clear onset of a demographic dividend that must be tapped.

The President who launched the document said the age structure of the country’s population for the past 40 years had changed as a result of low birth rates.

He said the fertility rate had declined from 6.4 per cent in the 1980 to 4.2 per cent in 2014, while the population below 15 years had reduced from 46.9 per cent in 1970 to 38.3 in 2010, adding that the economically active population (15-64 years) had grown from 49.6 per cent in 1970 to 57 per cent in 2010.

“Recognising the need to commit ourselves to what must be done to reap the benefits of demographic dividend, my government had developed strategic roadmap to take advantage of the demographic dividend,” he said.

The President said the roadmap would focus on economy, education, health and good governance.

He said over the last 11 months the government had worked to ensure macroeconomic stability of the country and reduce the country’s growing public debt.

“We have reduced inflation and largely stabilised the cedi and significantly reduced the fiscal deficit by rationalising public expenditure and improved government revenue,” the President said.

 

The Minister of Planning, Professor George Gyan Baffour said government next year would come out with a strategic document for the implementation of the AU Demographic Dividend Roadmap.

He said the National Planning Development Commission was working on the document, and had conducted wide stakeholder consultations on the development of the strategic document.

The UNFPA Country Representative in Ghana, Niyi Ojuolape in his remarks lauded the government for the efforts being made to implement the AU Demographic Dividend Roadmap.

He entreated government to commit more resources to tap the benefits the demographic dividend presented to Ghana.

Mr Ojuolape pledged UNFPA’s commitment to support Ghana to initiate strategies to take advantage of demographic dividends.

The Head of Youth Division at the African Union Commission, Ms Prudence Ngwenya and Esinam Amuzu of Curious Minds in their presentation commended Ghana for launching the AU Roadmap on Demographic Dividend and said more resources must be committed to programmes aimed at building the capacities of the youth.

By Kingsley Asare

 

 

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