YMCA 14th Annual Youth Conference opens

By Hafsa
Obeng, GNA

Accra, Aug. 13, GNA – The 14th Annual
National Youth Conference of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) has
opened in Accra, which aims at empowering young people for the African

The conference, on the theme: “The Africa We Want:
Agenda 2063,” is to  provide young people
the platform to share ideas and best practices as well as deliberate on
pertinent issues affecting their wellbeing. 

Dr Dominic Sam, the UNDP Country Director,
said the prosperity of the African Continent depended largely on the potential
of the youth, which must be harnessed and developed.

He said the conference theme, adopted in 2013,
reflected the desires of the African people to improve on their lot and achieve
a transformation where everyone could realise his or her potential without
fear, diseases or wants.

“It is not just about the Africa we want,
because the Africa we want must also reflect the world we want and desire,” he

Mr Sam said at the global level, the United
Nations, in 2016, adopted the Sustainable Development Goals with the renewed
commitment to creating a more prosperous, peaceful, free, inclusive and
sustainable world for both current and future generations, with the basic
strategic principle of leaving no one behind.

“Both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs highlight the
need for an inclusion and a people centred development, creating added value
and direct jobs.”

He said to achieve economic transformation
envisaged by both agendas, high premium must be placed on improving regional
economic integration, trade infrastructural development, and regional trade.

Achieving these goals would require leveraging
stakeholder resources, both domestic and international through partnerships
with governments, the private sector, faith based organisations,  NGO’s, 
and the youth.

“Achieving the two goals also require strong
government approach, strong leadership from duty bearers, and sustained demand
for accountability from citizens,” he added.

Mr Kwame Gyimah Akwafo, the National
President, Ghana YMCAs, said the destiny of Africa lay in the hands of the
youth, but there was quite a lot to do to ensure  they were given the right exposure to pursue
the Africa they wanted in the near future.

He noted that the role of the youth was quite
challenging and advised them to commit themselves to achieve more wherever they
found themselves, and ensure their activities and attitudes depicted the hopes
they strongly desired and hoped for.

Mr Kwabena Nketia Adade, the Executive
Director, Ghana YMCAs, said the the Association sought to empower young people
for the African renaissance by investing in their lives to enhance their body,
mind and spirit to make them productive and useful citizens.


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