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Opinions of Sunday, 13 March 2016

Columnist: Akpah, Prince

Vanderpuije will succeed as a Sport Minister but...

*Hon Nii Lante Vanderpuije will Succeed as a Sport Minister but will he as
a Youth Minster?*

First of all, I would like to congratulate, Hon Nii Lante Vanderpuije (MP)
on his new appointment as the eighth Minister of Sports and *Youth* under
the recent NDC Administration.

With lot of positive commendations and enthusiasm among various sports
personalities especially journalists, about the assurance of their
confidence in the new minister I am very sure Hon. Nii Lante will excel and
have a great time as a Sports Minister coupled with his endless experience
and network in one of the biggest and mismanaged sectors in the country.

But the silence of numerous Youth Activists and Advocates must also send a
clear signal to the new minister and his government acknowledging the
defunctness of the Youth Sector under the ministry which must be their
wakeup call or end up being adjudged with the laurel for the *lack of youth
focused policies *at the end of their administration.

In the past years that the Youth and Sports Ministry has existed in this
country, I have waited patiently to see how the Youth aspect will be
utilized but surprisingly the government hasn’t proved it to be a priority.
Recently, when I made an effort to book an appointment with one of the
previous Youth and Sports ministers, a Movie Addicted front desk personnel
asked me to come around every day until I meet the minister sitting in his
office which rhetorically means it is never possible to meet him.

From the various media interviews I have monitored Hon Nii Lante, he has
also plainly failed to outline his plans for the Youth sector in his
Ministry as he proudly outlines his focus on how he will be spending all
the ministries budget on various international sporting activities which
will eventually end up not giving the country any economic benefit and will
end up to be termed a complete waste of taxes when used to take care of
well-made sports personalities during tournaments; same money which equally
can be invested in the Large and untapped Youth Sector to yield valuable
and sustainable economic benefits to our nation, Ghana.

I am actually yet to understand the “Youth” factor in the full name of the
ministry as it has only being exhibited with a misplaced priority; relating
sports activities to youths.

Our National Youth Authority, which should be at the helm of affairs
advocating for various support services to brilliant youths embarking on
amazing ventures, is already being led by individuals who are now based in
their various local communities campaigning for political power at the
expense of the Vital Positions they hold to act between Government and its
youth base. I am sure they are still being paid when youths around the
country do not even know their names, roles and importance in national
development just as they themselves are not aware.

*They are simply living their personal dreams at the expense of National

This is a Youth Agency which couldn’t even sustain the National Young
Achievers Awards which was supposed to be the highest honour for young
people in Ghana until the recent intervention of the Most Influential Young
Ghanaian ranking initiative by Avance Media.

Across the Nation, there are various young people who have positioned
themselves in the Private sector with little or no support from government,
the same government who will go all out to praise them when they receive
global recognitions after spending their energies and personal finances
working to benefit this nation’s economic independence when various
realistic assistance can be let out to them.

We have seen various interventions as the Youth Employment Agency and the
Youth Enterprise Support which have even being turned into vote lobbying
initiatives badly managed with corruption and political authority
overshadowing the purpose of the programs.

There are many questions that we young people must pose to change the
status quo if we really want to get the special and rightful representative
we truly deserve in government, as we continue to ask Why Youth Affairs Are
Neglected and Thrown Under A Defunct Ministry.

Recent news from the United Arab Emirates reports a special Youth Ministry
has been carved with a 22 year old Young Lady appointed to be in the Helm
of Affairs, can’t we do same?

For Hon Nii Lante Vanderpuije to succeed as a Minister and earn his praise
it will require an equilibrium success of being a Minister of Youth and
Sports and not just a Minister of Sports but if he needs help, he can take
some lesson from his 22 year old colleague minister in the UAE which I
definitely know will outperform him.

I would also advise you to revamp the National Youth Authority, and make it
an authority that can serve the teaming youths of Ghana better.

Thank You

Prince Akpah