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Business News of Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Source: GNA

Govt to create 155,000 jobs

..Kufuor launches National Youth Employment Programme
Accra, Oct. 3, GNA - National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) targeted at creating jobs for 155,319 unemployed youth from all the 138 districts in the country was on Tuesday launched by President John Agyekum Kufuor at a well attended ceremony in Accra.

The programme is designed to open employment opportunities in education, agric business, community protection, rural health, waste and sanitation, internship, trade and vocation as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT).

It focuses on empowering and equipping the youth with technological know-how, industrial skills, appropriate work ethics and individual initiative to enhance their productivity.

The NYEP is already operational and has given employment to 33,945 people, representing 22 per cent of the estimated target. Of this, 20,021 are into community education, serving as teacher assistants, 12,683 are engaged in agric business with 1,241 on internship.

President Kufuor told the country's youth to let the launch of the programme signal a new and positive beginning for them. He said they should appreciate whatever little help they would receive and make the most of it, adding that, they should live by the time-tested adage of "seeing your cup half full rather than half empty.

"With such a positive attitude, you will turn every little opportunity into a big gain. You must be optimistic, have hope and look forward to better times. Do not be affected by pessimism."
President Kufuor said the choice of 'Kao Kudi', which has been the den of many idle youth of Accra, for the launching of the programme, was meant to challenge the nation to accept to turn every adversity into advantage.
"We must not resign in the face of challenges", he said, pointing out that from that very spot, which used to be notorious, many a determined youth had broken the chain of disadvantage and unemployment to find not only gainful employment but also fame and prosperity."
He said 'from the rough and grassless field where we stand, soccer stars like Mohammed Polo, Abedi Pele and others with determination and hardship have risen to play for Ghana and other world famous teams.'
The message is that there are many Polos and Abedis among the youth here and the State is resolved to help such youth to make something of their lives.
President Kufuor invited all the districts and the youth to participate in the implementation of the programme noting that, with vision, commitment and discipline, the country could conquer poverty through employment, especially of the youth.
He said the NYEP in the short to medium term should contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in improving food security, the environment, health and education.
He made reference to the census the Government undertook in 2001 and said it was shocked to realise that they exceeded one million.
President Kufuor said the Skills Training and Employment Programme, the Government initiated as part of an interim measure to help to address the problem, was able to train more than 27,000 people in various skills, vocations and trades.
More than, 3,000 of them, he said, had been assisted with some credit to start their own businesses.
Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, the Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, said the programme offered the youth better opportunity to assume their proper role and to contribute to the growth of the economy.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, said the NYEP was a concrete evidence of the Government's resolve to end youth unemployment.

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