Empower youth for SDGs success — President says to essay stakeholders

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has advocated that the youth be empowered to ensure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


According to him, young people were at the heart of the SDGs framework and the goals were an investment for children, youth, and future generations.

The SDGs are 17 goals aimed to create better ways of life without destroying the environment and resources for the future.

The President, who was speaking at a ceremony to recognise the achievements of the 10 winners of the 2022 Junior Graphic National Essay competition (JGNEC) at the Jubilee House in Accra, said young people could become a positive force for the SDGs if they were given the knowledge and opportunities to thrive and be involved in decision-making processes.

He, therefore, pledged the government’s commitment to provide quality education for all youth across the country.

“We will continue to invest in the development of our educational system to ensure that every child has access to the tools and resources needed to succeed.

We will create an environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and innovation in empowering our youth to shape the destiny of our nation and our world,” he said.

Commendation He commended the winners, noting that their essays did not only catch the attention of the nation but had become an inspiration for countless others.

 “This is just the beginning of your success story. You must all be proud of yourselves for the determination, passion, and hard work you have put into being named as the best,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said the essays had added to the global conversation on SDGs, adding that “you have played an integral role in creating awareness and understanding of the goals among your peers and beyond. You have taken the first step to becoming change makers.”

Furthermore, he said their essays demonstrated the youth's depth of knowledge, creativity of thoughts, and passion and encouraged them to use the recognition as a stepping stone to explore new avenues and continue to make a positive difference in the world.

The President also acknowledged the efforts of teachers, parents, and mentors who had nurtured their talents, guided and instilled in them the love for learning, writing, reading, and critical thinking.

“I urge all parents and guardians to continue to assist their wards to excel in whatever they do so they can attain great laurels in life,” he added.

He congratulated the Junior Graphic, a subsidiary of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), on organising the essay competition in partnership with the SDGs Advisory Unit, Office of the President.


It was a moment of joy when the Overall Best Winner of the 2022 JGNEC, Miss Adjoa Nyameyie Fletcher of the Pere Planque School in Cape Coast, Central Region, recalled her efforts to emerge the overall winner of the competition.

She said during her first visit to the Jubilee House last year, she witnessed how her predecessor was duly recognised and so from that day, she resolved to be the next winner to be given the same level of recognition or even more.

“As a result, when the 2022 edition was launched, I participated again and here I am today. This meeting means a lot to me and it will forever be remembered,” she said.

Miss Fletcher noted that before participating in the competition, most of them, their parents, and teachers had no idea about the SDGs but through the competition, they were now familiar with all the 17 goals.

“We thank the SDGs Advisory Unit for partnering with the Junior Graphic to educate all of us, especially schoolchildren, in this beautiful undertaking by integrating the goals into the essay writing,” she stated.

She has pledged on behalf of the other awardees to become ambassadors of the SDGs in their schools and everywhere they find themselves to ensure the success of the goals.


Miss Fletcher also expressed her gratitude to her parents, teachers, the GCGL, the SDGs Advisory Unit, the sponsors, and all who worked tirelessly for her to attain such a great feat.


The Managing Director of GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, said the JGNEC is the paper’s contribution to the country’s effort to achieve SDG 4, which is to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

For his part, the Special Advisor to the President on the SDGs, Dr Eugene Owusu, encouraged the winners to cherish this feat and never cease to believe in themselves.

He urged them to be actively engaged in the implementation of the SDGs to create a better future.


Dr Owusu also expressed his delight about the partnership that exists between the GCGL and the SDGs Advisory Unit, noting that the partnership had reached more than 100,000 students across the country over the past four years.


The contest was organised for upper primary and junior high school students. Out of the fifty best essays, 10 winners were rewarded.

The 2022 competition was on the theme: “Influencing creativity and critical thinking of young people through writing.” The sponsors of the competition were BIC, IPMC, Beta Malt, and McVities.



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