Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has said in “today’s turbulent political and economic climate, there are four crucial factors to consider in tackling issues relating to youth and gender”.
“Firstly, we must be mindful of the fact that 60% of our population will be under the age of 30 in a few years. That is why it is so critical that we systematically reform all our systems to effectively address the aspirations of our youth and country”, she said on Monday, 27 July 2020 when she was officially inaugurated by former President John Mahama as his running mate into the 7 December 2020 general elections.
“Secondly, we need meaningful, quality and comprehensive education that goes beyond access and responds to the future we can actualise”, the former Education Minister said.
“Thirdly, we must leverage vocational and technical training to equip many into meaningful and fulfilling work.
“Fourthly, we must provide opportunities that transcend political patronage, ‘connection’ and the practice of whom-you-know”, she said, noting that: “Equal and fair opportunities based on merit are an imperative for sustainable economic growth. The time for that shift is now”.
“Truth be told, despite all our challenges, Ghana remains a special place where any dream is possible, where every aspiration matters, and where anyone – be it a little boy from Bole or a little girl from Komenda – can grow up to be anything they want to be. Even President. Even Vice-President. This is why we love this country so much. We must continue to make it a place we cherish and are proud to belong to, and a place of opportunities.
“In the past and more so very recently, I have had extensive discussions with H.E. John Mahama about issues confronting our country and his vision for the coming years. These have been broad, passionate and engaging.
“In John Mahama you find a person who is thoughtful, visionary, makes no claim to perfection and admits to mistakes or missteps and valuable lessons learnt. Our society will be better served with such down-to-earth, considerate and reflective leadership.
“We have chosen the path of peace, inclusiveness, self-reliance and belief in ourselves. It is an important avenue through which to turn our current circumstances into opportunities that yield great dividends for us all. And ‘us’ includes generations unborn. Their lives also matter.
“It is clear that with the right direction and resolve, with all of us being part of the forward march, our country is destined for greatness. We can and must right the course of our country. We all admit that we can put our country on a firmer, more sustainable path, a path of peace, in order to move forth in ways that are meaningful and clear”.