June 20, 2024

• To tackle Youth development

John Dramani Mahama, the 2024 flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has announced plans to separate youth affairs from sports. Mahama made this announcement during the inauguration of the NDC Youth Wing Secretariat and and Campaign Office in Accra, where he emphasized the need for focused attention on youth development policies.

Mahama stressed that while sports have traditionally received significant attention, particularly centered around the Black Stars, other crucial aspects of youth development have been overlooked. He expressed concern that the concentration on sports, particularly football, has overshadowed critical areas such as job creation and overall youth welfare.

“We’re going to separate youth from sports because it’s a youth and sports ministry,” Mahama declared, prompting a strong reaction from the audience. He highlighted the need to redirect focus towards comprehensive youth development, stating, “the concentration is just on sports. And even on sports, the concentration is just on the Black Stars at the expense of every other sport.”

Mahama outlined his vision for the newly established Youth Secretariat, which will serve as a policy institute dedicated to formulating youth development strategies. He assured the enthusiastic crowd that the Secretariat would continue its work beyond the elections, focusing on mainstreaming youth interests across all sectors of the economy.

“We are going to set up a separate Ministry of Youth Development,” Mahama announced, outlining plans to prioritize job creation for young people. He emphasized the importance of collaboration with industries and businesses to create employment opportunities and proposed tax incentives to encourage youth employment initiatives.

John Mahama expressed confidence in the NDC’s prospects for victory in the upcoming December 2024 elections, underlining his commitment to addressing youth unemployment as a top priority. He concluded by reiterating the significance of separating youth affairs from sports to ensure a more comprehensive approach to youth development in Ghana.

However, some Ghanaian youth on social media have begun to demand an explanation from the former President regarding his plan to govern with 60 ministers and deputies while restructuring Ministries.

Coincidentally, Mahama’s sole contender for the presidency, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, indicated his intent on February 7th to establish the Ghana Youth Sports Secretariat under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, focusing on student-athletes, who are predominantly youth.

John Mahama and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia are vying for Ghana’s presidency. Both hail from the Northern Region, but the division of the region into Savannah and North East has physically separated them—Mahama to Savannah and Bawumia to North East.

They both attended secondary school in the former capital of the Northern Region, Tamale, with Mahama attending TAMASCO and Bawumia attending GHANASCO. Though rivals in a sense of competition, they maintain mutual respect for each other.

Both have served as Vice President of the country, with Mahama serving for seven years, seven months and Bawumia nearing the end of his eighth year as Vice President under Akufo-Addo.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the two Northern brothers are poised to compete on Saturday, December 7th, 2024.

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