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CEO of the National Youth Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri has said that the percentage of youth in the 15- 35 years bracket that constitute almost two-thirds of Ghana`s population with its attendant high rates of unemployment, although a likely challenge also presents the nation with a degree of hope for the future only if the Chinese exampled is followed.

Sharing his thoughts on population and governance issues at the launch of the Youth-led State of the World Population Report in Ghana, Mr. Asigri recalled his several years of serving in public life and noted that the Ghanaian society with its increasing population growth has the tendency to leave a bulk of its citizenry with a roller-coaster of emotions, with an unstable sense of self-esteem, insecurity, loneliness, vulnerability and a search for belonging.

“However an increase in population with a majority being young people means an increase in the country`s potential for creativity, endless possibilities, curiosity, energy and guts.” Mr. Asigri likened this situation to that of China with the largest population of the world and leveraging to take advantage of that by focusing on the great potentials and benefits of a larger population.

The CEO further stated that with Ghana`s population projected to double to  60 million by 2050, it offers Ghana the avenue as to how to plan better for the future rather than perceiving this as an alarming situation considering the possibility that such pressure could put on the environment, sanitation and other socio-economic issues concomitant with urbanization.

“Some are of the view that a growth in population sizes leads to innovation and technological change. This I tend to agree largely to because historically, the increase in the Asante empire for instance gave rise to innovations and growth of a wide range of craft industries such as gold and blacksmithing, wood carving, silk weaving, pottery, basket and beads making and the popular kente weaving industry at Bonwire” Mr. Asigri further intimated.

Touching on some innovative programmes to drive the transformational agenda of a Ghana Beyond Aid, as espoused by His Excellency the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, the CEO said it is in that light the government through its various agencies such as the NYA, YEA, NEIP, NABCO, 1D1F etc. has rolled out many modules geared at developing the creative potentials of the youth to be a source of skilled labour for the world of industry which will ultimately inure to higher economic growth.

With the introduction of the Free Senior High School Policy in September 2017, the CEO mentioned that it was a sure way of ensuring that all citizens gain access to education resulting in a productive population.

“The emphasis on girl child education is of vital importance especially with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal of leaving no one behind. In my experience as a former DCE, I can state with all certainty that there is a lot that educated women can do for society” Mr. Asigri went on to state.

In summing up his thoughts on population and governance, Mr. Asigri was emphatic that by 2050 where  Ghana`s population is envisioned to be 60 million, the Nana Addo led government`s current policies such as the Free SHS, 1D1F,NABCO, NEIP and the strategic involvement  of the National Youth Authority and UNFPA would see a transformed Ghana into a highly literate society with sustainable employment for its growth and further roll out policies that will further transform the skills and labour power of its population into industries that can serve the needs of all citizens whilst generating jobs for all.

The CEO finally congratulated the UNFPA for a successful launch of the SWOP report in Ghana and wished all participants fruitful deliberations.