64
MenuWallOpinions
Articles

Laudable! President Mills Gives Youth Opportunity in Government

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 Source: BISHOP Dela

Some call it “jobs for the boys;” others, who think the youth must never be involved in directly running the affairs of a nation, describe it as government in the hands of inexperienced youngsters. But I would describe President Mills’s nomination of several competent young gentlemen and ladies into his new NDC government as “hope for the youth.” How many times have we not heard youth groups appealed for the inclusion of the youth in the governance of Ghana? How many times have we not heard Ghanaian politicians promised that they would make the youth the centerpiece of their development policies and include the youth in important decision-making processes of Ghana? How much did we see our politicians deliver on this promise until recently when President Mills courageously nominated several hardworking and talented young men and women to high-profile political offices to help in the development of our nation? To me, this is a novelty because in the past only a couple of youth were occasionally appointed to top political offices. Instead of viewing this novelty in our politics as a detriment to the progress of our nation because those opposed to the new government think so, we must rather applaud it and encourage more young people to aspire to occupy positions that would allow them to directly affect national policies. To the Ghanaian youth, I say you have better hope and opportunity in NDC than in NPP.

If you would eschew extreme parochial and unreasonable partisanship you would notice that in NDC it does not matter what your age is; it does not matter if you have acquired chains of degrees and Ph. Ds.; it does not matter if you have gone to school abroad or stayed abroad to do all kinds of jobs; and it does not matter how long your resume is. In fact, if you exhibit leadership qualities and you have the basic qualification for a public office, you shall be encouraged and engaged to prove your worth, and to bring your youthful exuberance to bear on the development of our beloved Ghana. This is how some energetic and hardworking youngsters like Dr. Omane Boamah, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Zita Okaikoi, Agyenim Boateng, Fiifi Kwetey, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Haruna Iddrissu, Baba Jamal, Hanna Bisiw, and others, who represent a cross section of the Ghanaian youth, have caught the eyes of the meticulous Professor, President Mills, and he has made them ministers or deputy ministers in the new NDC government. This is how these youngsters have become role models for the Ghanaian youth in politics. Apart from this author knowing some of these hardworking young politicians directly, I also did attend at least one meeting with most of them and watched them brainstormed and strategized on how to battle the brutally rich NPP campaign machinery with facts that had deliberately been hidden from Ghanaians by the past NPP regime. They were the main players of, and the brain behind the NDC Forum for Setting the Records Straight.

Below, I provide a little profile on some of these talented young men and women to show Ghanaians that contrary to the views expressed by those who hate to see young people serve in government in Ghana—that the above-named youth are unqualified, inexperienced, and unemployable—the named persons were actually student leaders who are well qualified for public office; hardworking; responsible; and competent politicians who were engaged in various ventures for the sustenance of themselves and their families. Together these young politicians played various prominent and frontline roles in re-packaging the new NDC; selling the new NDC to the public in many media encounters; working behind the scenes in preparing a progressive manifesto for the new NDC; and fighting vigorously without money to oust the past filthily rich NPP regime, which majority of Ghanaians had become very tired with. These young talented politicians are definitely assets for our beloved Ghana and we must be grateful that President Mills has recognized their potentials and has reposed tremendous confidence in them. It must be our utmost desire to encourage and support these young men and women to excel and carry our beloved Ghana to different heights. Enjoy a brief profile of some of them below.

SAMUEL OKUDZETO ABLAKWA

By far, Mr. Ablakwa is the youngest of all the youthful stars President Mills has taken on board his government. Sammy Ablakwa is not more than 30 years old. However, he is probably the most popular of all, and he is arguably the most outspoken on political issues, having been an active member and one of the spokespersons for the CJA. If you remember the CJA’s opposition to the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone and the CJA’s objection to the purchase by Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey of the government bungalow he had occupied as a Minister in NPP’s regime, you would need nobody to convince you that Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is the type of person Ghana needs in a public office. Sammy is also a brave young man. He and Dr. Omane Boamah (profile below) were the two Ghanaians that dared Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey by filing an objection to his notice of purchase of the government bungalow. Mr. Ablakwa is a regular panelist on the popular radio talk show, Alhaji-Alhaji on Radio Gold. He was an active member of the Free Tsatsu Movement. During his student days at Legon, he was a NUGS President and a member of several boards of Legon SRC and Commonwealth Hall JCR. He attended several seminars both in Ghana and abroad. He has already written a book and he has won a number of distinguished awards as a result of his leadership roles in school. For a few years now, Mr. Ablakwa has operated his own small business for his sustenance. His determination and tenacity at everything he does are just a few of the qualities that convinced President Mills that Mr. Ablakwa would be a wonderful public official at the service of Ghanaians. Ghanaians must wish Mr. Ablakwa well in his new role, which he will definitely perform creditably.

DR. EDWARD OMANE BOAMAH

Dr. Omane Boamah is a medical doctor trained in the University of Ghana Medical School with a medical elective in a university in Missouri in the United States. He and Sammy Ablakwa were the two brave guys that decided to challenge and stop the then powerful Jake Obetsebi Lamptey from transforming a government bungalow to his private property. Dr. Omane Boamah was also a hardworking student leader, having been a NUGS President between 2002 and 2003, and an executive member of various students associations and boards in medical school. During his tenure as NUGS President, he was the convener of the ECOWAS Students Summit, and the convener of a workshop on Students Loan Trust Proposal. He was a founding member of the CJA and a member of NDC Manifesto Drafting Committee. Dr. Omane Boamah has already written a book on the GETFund and has published a few papers. He has attended several leadership seminars and has performed a great deal of community service in some hospitals in Ghana. He was regularly on radio and TV programs during the last electioneering campaign. He was one of the few members of the NDC Forum for Setting the Records Straight, a group that crushed NPP’s campaign with nothing but the truth. It comes as no surprise to me that President Mills decided to entrust Dr. Omane with a great responsibility that would groom him for greater challenges in the near future. Dr. Omane Boamah is already a role model for many Ghanaian youth who aspire to enter politics.

ELVIS AFRIYIE ANKRAH

Elvis is one of the Deputy General Secretaries of the NDC; everyone knows him. He holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from LECIA in Legon. He has a certificate in Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Earlier, while in Legon for undergraduate studies, Elvis was the SRC President that established the now popular Radio Universe at Legon. He served on several students associations and boards, and held many executive positions in NUGS. Elvis attended several conferences and seminars both in Ghana and abroad, and received various leadership awards over the years. He has worked as a sales executive in many business ventures, including the Mechanical Lloyd Company Ltd. While he engaged in full-time political activism, Elvis also kept a job as a lecturer, researcher, head of English department, and a Hall warden at the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) in Legon. Elvis has undoubtedly played a tremendous role in the successful reorganization of the NDC and marketing the party with its new ideas to the general Ghanaian populace. Elvis was in the middle of the campaign, acting as the general responsible for operations at the NDC headquarters. Ghanaians must be proud of people like these who have been leaders right from infancy. President Mills could not be wrong in giving an important national responsibility to Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah. He is cut for the job and he has the support of all progressive Ghanaian youth.

DR. HANNA BISIW

Dr. Bisiw is a progressive veterinary doctor trained in Cuba. She graduated with honors in a university in Cuba and has tremendous knowledge in business management and administration plus strategic planning and leadership skills. She was an active student politician, rising to the vice president of the SRC and an executive member of the DYLG. Dr. Bisiw has worked in various capacities in veterinary hospitals in Ghana. She has worked on projects in Cuba and at the Ministry of Health in Ghana. Dr. Bisiw was an active member of NDC Manifesto Committee; she was a member of the NDC 2008 campaign team. She even contested the NDC parliamentary primary in the Tano South Constituency. She is knowledgeable, confident, and very hardworking. She was a regular voice on the airwaves, selling the ideas of the new NDC. Together with many others, she helped to win the 2008 elections for the NDC. She is an admirable young woman that requires our support to develop her full potentials and leadership skills in politics. Which leader would not engage the services of a young lady like Dr. Bisiw? We must be grateful to Prof. Mills for recognizing something unique in Dr. Hanna Bisiw.

FIFI F.F. KWETEY

Fifi Kwetey does not need to be introduced to any Ghanaian who followed Ghana’s recent electioneering campaign and events before, during, and immediately after the elections. He “over-proved” (if I may be permitted to use that word) his competence and intelligence in politics to the extent that he almost became the prime target of NPP operatives during the campaign. When they realized that they had nothing to nail him on, they attempted to change his nationality to a Togolese. It did not work simply because a lie has only a short lifespan. Fifi is a full-blooded Ghanaian, who only went to primary school and college in Togo. He returned later to school in Ghana, where he smashed academic records at both O & A levels. Let nobody challenge the academic prowess of this guy. He was the overall best student of Ghana at the O’ level in 1987, and he was one of 3 top students from the whole of West Africa to be awarded for distinguished performance at the examination. Within one year of entering sixth form in Achimota School, Fifi had completed his A’ level by “clucking” 4As before even getting to upper six. He studied Economics at the sixth form and in the university in Legon. He worked as financial analyst and stockbroker at Strategic African Securities (SAS). He worked also as Funds Manager and stockbroker at the CDH Financial Holding Ltd. Fifi was also an instructor in securities courses at the Ghana Stock Market from the years 2000 – 2002. I can say with certainty that Fifi was originally being considered for a deputy minister in the foreign ministry until his extra-ordinary performance at the recent Economic confab at Akosombo, where President Mills had assembled top experts and sharp brains to discuss Ghana’s economy. Fifi won the hearts of all who were present at the conference and he was immediately recommended by the multitude for the finance ministry. We really do not need any more information about Fifi Kwetey for us to agree with President Mills that Fifi is a good choice and must be given all the necessary support and encouragement.

Now every Ghanaian knows why these young men and women have been chosen by President Mills to help move our country forward. President Mills must be commended for rewarding hard-work and competence. He must be commended for giving us, the youth a lot of hope that if we are not timid and we demonstrate leadership skills, our efforts shall be recognized and we shall be given the opportunity to serve our nation. I am proud of being a young man in the NDC because in the NDC there is opportunity for all of us whether or not we have chains of degrees or have stayed abroad. Thank you, President Mills. We pledge to you that we shall support all the young men and women you have appointed to various responsible public offices. It is our dream and we appreciate your gesture.

BISHOP Dela

dela@bishop.com

Columnist: BISHOP Dela