Dear Manasseh Azure,
I am delighted and impressed with the passion you have expressed about the wellbeing of the Ghanaian youth and your long-lasting dedication to protecting the public purse.
Your observations in your write up are however inaccurate, to think that the YEA has engaged only individuals in the entertainment industry as ambassadors. I do not want to believe that you want to downplay the importance and influence our entertainment icons wield over the Youth as we seek to develop our dear nation. They are of very much importance in matters of the Youth, tourism, peace, just to mention a few and YEA will not hesitate to encourage any well-meaning Ghanaian in any field who has the enthusiasm to support the cause of youth development in Ghana.
Maame Serwaa, Abby Awuni, Tonyi Senaya are young entrepreneurs who are great brands to associate with, but if you had done proper checks, you would have realized that we have the CEO of MakeUp Ghana Rebecca Donkor, a young industrious woman who has helped turn around the makeup industry in Ghana by bringing to light the business side of the makeup industry. Again, further checks would have brought to your notice that, Mr Kwabena Anokye Adisi, the CEO of EIB Group, a flourishing media conglomerate and an icon to the Youth and Entrepreneurship is also an ambassador.
There are several leaders of employment associations, industry players, young members of parliament etc who are ambassadors and endorse the YEAs noble projects.
We are for the youth and will continue to associate with anyone who is ready to support us curb unemployment in Ghana.
Your honourable self, a journalist of enviable repute, is welcome on board to whip up the interest of youth who want to be in the media.
Wendy Shay has faulted, but our duty as an Agency championing the Youth Empowerment agenda is to reprimand her and more importantly guide her to become what society expects of an icon -- a role model.
And talking about the Business of YEA, you can trust in the NPP government for accountability and value for money transactions. We can assure you our tenure as Administrators of the YEA will see to the maximization of the fortunes of the youth of this country.
Your hopes should be intact and never be despondent. The NPP government is keeping to its promises.
Manasseh Azure Writes: Don't Blame Wendy Shay And The Celebrities
Dear Sammi Awuku,
Don't blame Wendy Shay and the celebrities. Entertainment celebrities are great influencers, but they must not be the only ones who can be ambassadors for initiatives. In the case of the Youth Employment Agency, I don't think the focus should be on entertainment celebrities. There are young and enterprising young Ghanaians who have created businesses out of nothing and are employing others in many sectors of the economy. They can also share their experiences and help young graduates to set up businesses. I have nothing against our entertainment icons, but let us not reinforce the misguided notion that the only way to get the attention of the Ghanaian youth is through entertainment.
Maame Serwaa of SERAMA Sandals, Abby Awuni of Fugu Plus, Mabel Simpson of mSimps, EmperorTonyi Senayah of Horseman Shoes, and a host of others can also be ambassadors of the YEA.
Wendy Shay is a package. You saw her brand and what she stood for before you went for her. So, Mr. Sammi Awuku, you and your board should not blame her. A goat will not cry like a cat just because it's been taken to America. If there's anyone to blame, look for those whose poor judgment resulted in the list YEA ambassadors we have.
And talking of the Youth Employment Agency, the initiative has been used to steal money by bringing in private businesses and paying them fraudulent management fees. Until you people prise the greedy and fraudulent hands of the shady private businesses away from the YEA, no amount of ambassadorial duties would create the needed impact. Some of these thieves, we are told, share their loot with the politicians. I'm hoping that the Sammi Awuku-led YEA Board and the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government would at least get this right so that we don't repeat the NYEP/GYEEDA scandal in a different format. You people are yet to do away with one of the most fraudulent contracts Ghana has seen. So far it doesn't appear you people are any better than the NDC administration you inherited.
But I still choose to remain hopeful, no matter how hopeless my hope is.
Manasseh Azure Awuni.
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