Achieving Africa Beyond Aid Will Require Investment In Youth - Minister

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has indicated that to attain a future beyond aid in Africa will require investment in the continent's youth.

A statement issued by the Ministry and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Madam Botchwey made the remarks in Accra at the closing ceremony of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa 2019 annual meeting.

The Minister encouraged African nations to make good use of the Continent's youthful population.
She said global population projections showed that between now and 2050, the greatest spurt of population expansion would occur in Africa.

"Already, we have a large share of the world's youthful population. This could mean economic power for us (Africa), but only on condition that we are able to strategically position the continent to take advantage of this human resource endowment for development," Madam Botchwey stated.

She therefore, urged that the provision of education should remain a key priority as it would equip African youth and future leaders with the ability to contribute meaningfully through innovative means for development.
"Ghana has already embarked on this essential capacity development of her youth."

She cited the Government's free senior high school (SHS) policy as one of the ways in which Ghana was contributing to education and skills development of its young people.

"Government through this programme, is ensuring that over 400,000 Ghanaian children will have an equal chance of receiving secondary education to equip them with the needed capacity to further drive Government's development efforts," she said.

Madam Botchwey stated that it was reassuring that Africa started taking steps to reduce aid dependency.
"However, we are mindful of the challenges ahead of the promising journey we have embarked upon," the Minister added.

She noted that although seemingly formidable, the task ahead of Africans is achievable.
But she warned that "...we will not be successful in this enterprise if we adopt a business-as-usual approach to doing things."