Dean of Engineering delivers keynote address at launch of national youth program


August 20, 2016
At the launch of a national development initiative, themed Youth of Ghana: The Future we want to Build for Ourselves, Dean of Ashesi’s Engineering School, Dr. Fred McBagonluri, in delivering the keynote speech, highlighted the need for focus to be placed on developing the youth as a critical part of the nation’s developmental plan. “Every society must evolve and re-architect its future and the youth of this country represents that future, so we cannot afford to just let life go around the youth, leaving them behind,” he said.

Organized by the National Developmental Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the National Youth Authority, and Curious Minds Ghana, the initiative will provide a platform for the youth to share their dreams and aspirations for the future of the country within the context of the long-term national development plan which is currently being drawn up by the NDPC.

Guests at the launch included the Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and the Chairman of the National Developmental Planning Commission, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey. The launch, held at Accra Academy Senior High School, brought together students from tertiary institutions and high schools, youth advocates, faculty and staff of educational institutions and members the general public.

Speaking on the significance of education to the national developmental agenda, Dr. McBagonluri stressed the need for creating an enabling environment for the youth to thrive, “We need to re-focus our educational institutions and commit them to embracing, adapting, and integrating rapid changes in the world around us in terms of knowledge development and innovation,” he said. “We need to develop inventive minds that do not accept the status quo as the norm, or as comfort, but as a platform to innovate the future; a future where diversity of ideas is the norm and rapid advances in innovation, psychology and leadership empowers rather than immobilizes our national aspirations.”

Also speaking at the event was Dr. Kwesi Botchway, who urged the youth to participate in the initiative. “This program is to enable us engage the youth, who are perhaps the most critical stakeholders of our long term plan,” he said. “As the youth get involved in the planning processes, as they clarify their own perspectives and engage others in discussion, they will be helping to stoke debate and discussion among the communities to which they belong.”

“This youth consultation program is intended to increase their awareness of the importance of national planning as the surest way of securing their future as young people,” he added. “Additionally, it is to get young people involved in the planning consultation process itself as well as the on-going debate around the plan, and to seek their views and perspectives on what they wish to see Ghana look like when Ghana achieves 100 years old.”

Following the speeches, Dr. Kwesi Botchey led a panel discussion, fielding questions and comments from members of the audience.

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