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Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori (3rd from left), Provost, College of Humanities, Massimo Mina (2nd from left), Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation in Ghana; Dr Kwame Asah-Asante (3rd from right), Director, Centre for European Studies, and some dignitaries after the forum. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori (3rd from left), Provost, College of Humanities, Massimo Mina (2nd from left), Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation in Ghana; Dr Kwame Asah-Asante (3rd from right), Director, Centre for European Studies, and some dignitaries after the forum. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Build skills to tackle unemployment — Prof. Ofori

Younger persons in the country’s tertiary institutions have been urged to make conscious efforts to acquire entrepreneurial and creative skills that will put them in a better position to have sustainable livelihoods after school. 

The Provost of the College of Humanities at the University of Ghana, Professor Daniel Frimpong Ofori, who made the call, said in an era of acute youth unemployment, it would take young people with relevant skills to succeed in the job market or excel in their personal businesses.

Prof. Ofori stated this at the opening session of a roundtable and information session on studying in Europe organised by the Centre for European Studies (CES) at the University of Ghana.

He also underscored the need for national policies that would mainstream entrepreneurship and skills development into the training of the younger generation to prevent the negative impact of youth unemployment.

“Unemployment is forcing many young people to leave the country, sometimes through very dangerous means, and this must be looked at well. When young people are equipped with the needed skills to work, they will be useful to themselves and also pay taxes for national development,” he said.  

The event was organised in collaboration with the European Union (EU) in Ghana, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD Ghana) and Campus France.

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The programme aimed at building the capacity of students in the areas of skills development and entrepreneurship to help them make meaningful livelihoods.

Ultimately, the programme was targeted at equipping the youth with entrepreneurial skills that would help to address the country's widespread youth unemployment.

At the event, the about 300 students who participated in the session were provided with useful information on studying in Europe.

Youth empowerment

The Director of CES, Dr Kwame Asah-Asante, said the initiative was a response to the threats, increasing levels of youth unemployment posed to the country.

 "Now that our country has a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and for the next three years public sector jobs cannot be guaranteed for young people, we thought it wise to introduce a programme for young people to be able to build their capacity so that they can start something on their own", he said.

Dr Asah-Asante added that the initiative dovetailed into the government's Youstart programme that sought to support young people to start their businesses. 

Youth is future

The Head of Cooperation at the EU, Massimo Mina, said the decision by the union to support the initiative was because it would inspire younger persons in the country to take up entrepreneurship and contribute meaningfully to national development.

He said young persons were creative and innovative so harnessing their potential was crucial for any country that wanted to see sustainable development.

Mr Mina urged the beneficiary students to take bold steps towards building a future for themselves and the country.

The Head of the Political Science Department of the university, Prof. Alidu Seidu, said the youth constituted the future of the country so it was important to build a solid foundation for them to succeed.

He observed that it was when younger people got the opportunity to build their capacity that they could become responsible leaders in the future.

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