We’re determined to create more jobs — Dr Bawumia
The government is working to open more job spaces for the youth, in addition to the over two million jobs so far created, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said.
“In the past six years, despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the ongoing global economic crisis, I am glad to say that we created over two million jobs for the youth, excluding what we created under the Planting for Food and Jobs and the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), which were stop gap measures,” he said.
Dr Bawumia also said the country was poised to have an unprecedented leap in literacy following the free senior high school (SHS) policy and an increase in the number of students accessing tertiary education.
He described the former as positive and welcoming since, according to him, research had shown that a country’s level of progress and development was directly linked to the literacy rate of its citizens.
Addressing congregants at this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the Black Star Square in Accra last Saturday, Dr Bawumia said enrolment in SHS had increased to 1.4 million students from 800,000 some six years ago because of the free SHS policy.
He said the about 75 per cent increase in enrolment came with a near parity in the ratio of enrolment of boys and girls which used to be skewed towards boys.
The Vice-President further said getting the youth educated and provided with the necessary skills was fundamental and non negotiable to the progress of the nation, adding “the Koreans did it, Singapore did it, the Arabs did it and Ghana will do it. It is possible”.
While commending the youth for their determination, innovative and positive mindset, he advised them to take advantage of the government’s policies and programmes, including digital innovation to promote their businesses.
According to Dr Bawumia, digital economy was the present and future of any nation and that because the country had been proactive, it was ahead of many of its peers on the continent in the digital space.
The Vice-President further said Islam preached inclusiveness at all levels of society and that the government was inspired by that spirit and so “we have over the past six years been introducing inclusive policies which embraces all and bearing fruits for the collective development of our people”.
He mentioned some of the projects undertaken by the government to include the provision of national identification cards, embarking on property address and mobile money interoperability which, he said, were clear examples of the inclusive policies.
“One of our inclusive development policies has also been the establishment of the special development agencies, which includes the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund as a special development vehicle for Zongo development,” Dr Bawumia added.
The Vice-President, who attended the event in a bus with his wife, Samira Bawumia, ministers of state and other government officials, also announced the 104th birthday of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, which fell last Sunday.
Amid applause and shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is great), he said the life of Sheikh Sharubutu had been of a great blessing to the nation and to mankind “Personally, the Chief Imam has been a guide and an inspirer.
Mallam is indeed God’s gift to all of us. On this special occasion of his birthday, I wish him many more years and good health,” Dr Bawumia said and added that “the greatest tribute we can all pay to our father is to strive to emulate the beautiful traits he represents, especially his tolerance and love for humanity.”
In a speech read on his behalf, Sheikh Sharubutu called on politicians to ensure civility in the run up to the general election next year.
He also advised against acts that could jeopardise the existing peace, as well as tarnish the reputation of the country, which is among the most peaceful nations in the sub region.
Sheikh Sharubutu further entreated all to ensure environmental cleanliness and also desist from acts that led to floods during rainy seasons.