The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has urged the United Nations to support and invest in small-scale businesses owned by the youth, as part of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister made the call during his second major address on day 3 of the 2023 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in New York.
Addressing the question, “How is your country working with young people and the UN to achieve the SDGs by 2030,” Mustapha Ussif suggested that in other to accelerate the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN and its partner agencies should collaborate with the government and invest in the youth.
“The government and the UN can ensure the inclusion of young people in the majority of its initiatives such as Transforming Food Systems and Education, Digital Inclusion Programmes, and provide specific support to youth-focused programs on preventing violent extremism (PVE), among others,” the Minister proposed.
He also advocated for investments in small-scale firms owned by youth, with soft loans, grants, capacity training, and exchange programs.
These, he believes, will go a long way toward accelerating the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
He also used the opportunity to reiterate policies and programmes by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which he said are contributing towards achieving the National Youth Policy 2022-2032 and its Implementation Plan (2022 – 2027), National Youth Volunteer Programme (NYVP), the inauguration of National, regional and district Youth Parliament, the construction of the 10 regional Youth Resource Centres which comes with auxiliary facilities such as a FIFA standard football pitch, an ICT Centre, an entrepreneur centre and a conference room, which are all being implemented by the National Youth Authority.
The minister also urged the youth to choose peace and stability as the only way to create a meaningful collaboration that fosters personal and societal development.
Member of the Youth Advisory Group of the United Nations Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Taahir Bulbulia thank Ghana for sending health personnel to support Barbados during the Covid-19 pandemic. He emphasized that the support really helped his country to save a lot of lives.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is an annual United Nations Youth Forum initiative organised as the main platform for youth to share their ideas at the global level.