The country Director for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr Dominic Sam, has urged African leaders to seek the welfare of the youth who are catalysts for the continent’s development.
Dr Sam said that at the 14th National Youth Conference of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)’s in Accra yesterday.
“The prosperity of the continent in the coming decades depends largely on the potential of the youth in Africa and that prospect must and should be harnessed,’’ he said.
The event, which is held annually, was organised to commemorate the International Youth Day and was attended by members of the YMCA from all over the country. Also in attendance were youth groups from other countries. It was on the theme “Agenda 2063, The Africa we want’’.
Dr Sam said Africa had the youngest population in the world and was expected to grow to 226 million by 2055.
Twelve million young people, he said, joined the African labour force every year making it imperative that avenues were found to curb the growing youth unemployment.
“There is a pressing need to create jobs for the youth. If we don’t do that, it means Africa would lose the capacity of its youth to transform the continent and indeed the world as a whole,’’ he said.
Furthermore, he said it was important for leaders on the continent to work hard to achieve the goals set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2020 and the African Union (AU) agenda 2063, which seeks to transform Africa into a thriving continent.
The National President of YMCA, Ghana, Mr Kwame Gyimah Akwafo, said youth development was not only crucial to the prosperity of Africa, but also for the peace and security of the continent.
The Executive Director of YMCA, Ghana, Mr Kwabena Nketia Addae, said the YMCA was focused on empowering the youth and was investing in them to make them productive and useful citizens.
He urged the government to seek the welfare of the youth in its policy framework, describing the condition of the youth as “uncomfortable’’.