The National Youth Authority (NYA) has organised a pitching camp in Koforidua for about 23 youth to enable them share their innovative ideas for national development.
The pitching camp was in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in association with the Youth Connekt Ghana, a programme under the NYA.
The pitching was part of the Youth Innovation for Sustainable Development Challenge that was launched in November this year to give opportunity to young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 35 to competitively present their innovations that would help to solve development challenges towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Winning entries would be determined through competitive selection processes and 16 successful applicants would be selected to win up to $5000 challenge prize, business mentorship, among others.
An economic analyst with the UNDP Ghana, Ms Sylvia Senu, at the opening of the pitching in Koforidua for Zone B, which included the youth selected from the Central, Greater Accra, Volta, Western, Western North, Eastern, Ashanti and Ahafo regions, stated that the challenge was created to give young Ghanaian innovative minds the opportunity to come up with brilliant ideas that were related to the SDGs.
It would also enable the youth to present their innovative ideas to allow a three-membered panel of judges to select the best, who would be awarded with the ultimate prize at an awards ceremony slated for December 14, this year, she said.
Ms Senu said similar programmes had been held for the youth selected for Zone A, which included Oti, Bono, Bono East, Savannah, Northern, North East, Upper East, Upper West regions.
She said after receiving more than 300 applications, her outfit had realized that the youth were endowed with brilliant innovative ideas that, when supported and given the right conditions, would reach their full potentials.
Ms Senu advocated the need to encourage more youth to be meticulous in their submissions and have the appetite of taking advantage of such opportunities.
“Supporting such initiatives and providing opportunities for them would enable them shape their ideas into realities, and we at UNDP pledge our commitment to continually support the challenge,” she said.
For his part, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Programmes and Operations for the NYA, Mr Nelson Owusu Ansah, said it was the mandate of his outfit was to help empower the youth economically, adding that the project would enable them do so.
He noted that a lot of the youth who were unemployed, had innovative ideas that, when helped to harnessed, would not only benefit them but would help in the socio-economic development of the country, stating that “this challenge will create that platform for them.”
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA