President John Mahama
President John Mahama

From: George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA Special Correspondent in New York, USA

President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said the way forward for reducing youth unemployment in the world was to target job creation in the second Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This, he said, would be done through concentration on processing and value addition to primary goods, a reverse from the current state of exporting only raw materials and importing back finished goods from others.

“Another way is to equip the teeming youth with Technical and Vocational skills to fit into the current job market, rather training more people in the humanities who come out to seek non-existent jobs,” he said.

President Mahama said this when he participated in a roundtable discussion on:” Accelerating decent work for inclusive and sustainable development” in New York as part of his official visit to the USA.

“Although the first MDGS dwelled on poverty reduction, which subsequently impacted positively on reduction of malnutrition and improved on education of girls, unemployment is a global challenge starring in the eyes of all development partners.”

The discussion, which was organised by the Ford Foundation also featured President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Luis Guillermo Solis of Costa Rica, Mr Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organisation and Mr Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coca Cola Company.

Ford Foundation, which was established in 1936, has been providing grants to organisations in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

The company is also committed to ensuring social justice with inherent programmes on strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement.

President Mahama said in view of the lack of adequate skills among Ghanaian graduates, the government was embarking on a massive programme to train more youth on skills that could earn them decent jobs.

He said Ghana began with a socialist system where a lot of enterprises belonged to the state but is now moving away from that system to empower the private sector to play pivotal roles in job creation in the coming years.

President Mahama said the establishment of Youth Employment Support (YES) Initiative formed part of government’s economic transformational strategy to reduce over reliance on government jobs.

He said job creation was essential and crucial in order to avoid youth unrest and to also encourage the youth to switch from being employees to become employers in the technical and vocational training programmes.

The President said the success of YES initiative and others in the development queue would also help stem rural/urban drifts that developing countries were currently experiencing.

President Mahama earlier on attended the Climate Change Summit and chaired a meeting on South-South Energy Initiative.

GNA

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