General News of 2014-08-16

$10m Youth Enterprise Support was NPP's idea - Nana Akomea

Former Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said his party was the brain behind government's establishment of the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Fund hailed as a milestone in addressing youth unemployment.

Nana Akomea said on Joy FM's political affairs program Newsfile on Saturday, government had prepared a memo in June 2008 addressed to Cabinet to discuss the plan.

Government last Tuesday introduced the Youth Enterprise Support Initiative (YES) which is part of a larger social programme to generate jobs and facilitate youth development in the country.

Under the initiative, President Mahama said government will invest an amount of Ghc10 million into the Youth Entrepreneurship Fund.

Contributing to a discussion on the policy, Nana Akomea revealed that it took a defeat in the 2008 general elections to stop his party from going ahead with the YES proposal.

Nonetheless, his government included the proposal in the handing-over notes to the incoming National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in 2009.

"All of this has been ready 2008, 20009. All of this were there, and they have to wait for 2014" to implement the policy.

He called government lazy, complacent and lacking a sense of urgency in giving life to the proposal when many desperate youths have been clamouring for government intervention in an unemployment situation -- deemed by some security experts as a national security threat.

Deepening his position on government's laziness and complacency, he said since the National Youth policy was outdoored in 2010, an Action Plan to ground the policy is yet to be produced fours years later.

It must be noted when the NPP came to power in 2001, it abandoned the 1999 National Youth Policy and took two terms in office to formulate the 2008 National Youth Policy. The NDC abandoned the 2008 youth policy formulated by its predecessor and introduced a new one in 2010.

But deputy Interior minister James Agalga discounted the view of complacency noting that just under one and a half years into the first term of President Mahama, the policy has been outdoored.

"Let us give praise where praise is due," Agalga urged.

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