Ghana will host the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation’s 13th Forum (Known in Ghana as Head of State Award Scheme) for the time in Sub-Saharan Africa, from October 31 to November 3. The triennial will bring International leaders to plan the future growth of the award worldwide. The theme for this year’s forum is “shaping the future, shaping our world.”
Speaking on GBC’s Uniiq FM Breakfast show, Rt Hon. Lord Paul Boateng noted that Africa is the world’s oldest continent geologically and also the world’s youngest demographically.
Statistically by 2035, there will be more young people entering the market from Africa as compared to that of the rest of the world put together. He said this a challenge to Africa as a continent because these young people lack skills such as confidence, communication, resilience. These skills cannot be acquired in Schools and colleges alone. Therefore, the head of sate award is all about creating the environment for the young ones to acquire these skills which will in turn make them fit to participate in the world market.
“You have got to give those young people a sense of their own worth and value and capacity to participate in the market place. what are the skills they require? Resilience, confidence, communication. Those are not things that can be acquired in school and colleges alone. We know non-formal education. That is what the Head of State Award represents. Makes you that much more fit for employment and likely to secure employment. We will be having a series of workshop that are about examining the question of how we give more young people worldwide the opportunity to acquire these skills. Make them world ready, make them job ready,” he said.
The Chairman Board of Trustees, Head of State Awards Scheme and Deputy Chairman, International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Henry Morgan Minksi, who was also on the show urged all young people to come on board to do the award. He said the award is a non-formal education which equips young people and give them the opportunity to be able to learn outside the classroom practically. He added that to be able to create a better future, the young people must be engaged because the best resource we have in the country is not the Gold and diamonds but the young people we see in the streets. Therefore, must be given attention to.
“As rough diamonds as these young people are, we need them to be polished. Then they can glitter. If we fail to polish them, we only hold them and call them diamonds but they will not glitter and shine. The world will outshine them but if we do polish them, there is no way they will not shine,” he said.
Story by: Mavis Arthur