A speech delivered by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC) Chief Director/RCD, Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku on behalf of the outgoing Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Salifu Saeed points out that, the thorny issue of youth unemployment in the Northern Region and the country at large remains a threat, waiting to explode.

He said, the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have tried best practices and have introduced various programmes to address this issue but it continues to be a threat.

“Youth unemployment, if not properly and urgently addressed remains a time bomb, waiting to explode” he bemoaned.

He said this at the 2021 Harmattan School, organized by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services (IIRACS), University for Development Studies (UDS) and Partners at the UDS International Conference Centre in Tamale on Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021.

This year’s event which focuses on the theme: From the Best Practice to the Best Fit Option; Addressing Youth Unemployment in Ghana seeks to bring together interest groups including Academia, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector and Governmental Organizations to contribute to addressing the issue of youth unemployment.

The chairperson, Prof. Seidu Alhassan in his acceptance remarks, said to tackle youth unemployment in Ghana, three things are very critical and need to be considered; Under-employment, Lack of motivation, and Mind set of the youth. 

He urged the youth to stop prioritizing money at the expense of acquiring the needed skills that would set them up for the job market and the ability to start-up their own businesses.

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The Chief Director cited that, he met a group of youth and asked them what they aspire to be and they responded that they want to prosper. 

When he further asked them what prosperity means, majority of them said it is to get money.

He urged that “it is high time youth appreciate that prosperity is not about having cars and building mansions, but changing the lives of the people in the society”.

On the other hand, he lauded the University for Development Studies (UDS) for their efforts in creating a plethora of platforms that have allowed for the sharing of knowledge and the generation of ideas for the transformation of the country in general and the development of the North in particular. 

“I will continue to say that UDS has been the light when it comes to the development of the North” he said.

He added that, apart from the development of our human capital and social integration, many economic activities have come to life because of the presence of UDS in our communities.

He admonished the youth to utilize opportunities such as the Harmattan School initiative to learn and develop themselves for the job market.

The Harmattan School

The Harmattan School was instituted in 2007 by the University for Development Studies to provide a platform for civil society organisations, development practitioners, policy makers and researchers, on an annual basis, to meet and discuss pertinent development issues that affect northern Ghana in particular and Ghana as a whole. This event takes place every February to climax the Harmattan season.

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Since the inception of the initiative, they have covered a varied range of important issues relating to our collective development, including multiparty democracy and inclusive governance in 2017, De politicization of education in 2018 and our shared responsibilities in ‘Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all’ in 2020.

Credit: Adongo A. D. Fatawu

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