Home » Mahama Unveils Plan for Youth, Revamps Sports Ministry

Mahama Unveils Plan for Youth, Revamps Sports Ministry

Visionary Approach to Empower Ghana's Youth, Create Jobs

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

In a significant announcement that has stirred conversation across Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has laid out an ambitious plan aimed at reshaping and influencing youth engagement and sports management in the country. During a pivotal event on Friday, March 29, 2024 – the launch of the NDC’s National Youth Wing Secretariat and Campaign – Mahama detailed a visionary approach to empower the youth of Ghana through a dedicated and revamped Youth and Sports Ministry.

The heart of Mahama’s proposal lies in a strategic overhaul of the current Ministry of Youth and Sports. Historically, this ministry has been criticized for its heavy focus on sports, primarily football, often overshadowing broader youth development initiatives. Mahama’s critique and subsequent proposal suggest a paradigm shift towards a more inclusive, sector-spanning approach to youth empowerment.

Underpinning this bold move is Mahama’s commitment to carving out a distinct space for youth affairs within the national administrative framework. This would mean bifurcating the existing ministry to ensure that youth and sports receive focused attention, resources, and leadership. Such a separation, according to Mahama, is crucial for addressing the diverse needs of Ghana’s youth beyond the realm of sports, tapping into various economic sectors for comprehensive youth engagement and development.

One of the cornerstone initiatives of this reimagined ministry is the creation of a Youth Development Service. This entity is envisioned to spearhead efforts in generating employment opportunities, a move that aligns with Mahama’s broader economic agenda. The 24-hour economy concept, a critical component of his plan, aims to invigorate the nation’s economic landscape by promoting continuous economic activities, thereby fostering job creation and economic growth. Mahama argues that the youth are essential to the realization of this vision, necessitating a robust platform for their participation in Ghana’s development narrative.

Mahama’s approach is not just about employment; it’s about integrating youth perspectives and interests across all sectors of the economy. This holistic strategy underscores the importance of mainstreaming youth concerns in national development plans, ensuring that young people are not just beneficiaries but active contributors to Ghana’s progress.

“We are going to separate Youth and Sports because it’s a youth and sports ministry but over the years, what we do is that the concentration is on sports and even on sports, the concentration is on Black Stars at the expense of any other sports. So, I’m going to set up a service for Youth development. It will focus primarily on Youth status in all sectors of the economy,” Mahama explained, outlining the foundational philosophy of his proposal.

The initiative to decentralize the focus from sports, particularly the Black Stars, to a broader spectrum of youth interests, represents a significant shift in policy direction. By establishing a dedicated service for youth development, Mahama aims to provide a structured and effective platform for addressing the multifaceted challenges facing the youth, from employment to participation in governance and economic development. “It will focus on mainstreaming youth interest in all sectors of the economy. And most of all, we will concentrate on bringing on strategies that will create jobs for young people, and this Ministry will support the 24-hour economy,” Mahama further emphasized, shedding light on the operational framework and objectives of the proposed ministry.

This visionary proposal has ignited discussions across the nation, with many seeing it as a hopeful step towards addressing the longstanding issues of youth unemployment and underrepresentation in national development. By placing youth and sports in separate spheres, with a clear mandate for each, Mahama is advocating for a more focused and strategic approach to harnessing the potential of Ghana’s youth, positioning them at the forefront of the country’s journey towards sustained growth and development.

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