Demographic Dividend Roadmaps launched in Ghana

9 January 2018

The President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the AU roadmap and his own government’s strategic document on harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Ghana and Africa through investment in youth. The ceremony took place on 11th December 2017 at the Accra International Conference Center.

The event was witnessed by the diplomatic community in Ghana, the UN system, Ministers of State, members of the Council of State, Religious and Traditional leaders and young people.

The demographic dividend describes a process of accelerated economic growth that begins with changes in the age structure of the population of a country as it moves through the demographic transition from high to low birth and death rates.” Over the last 10 years, it has become evident that a demographic dividend offers a strategic basis for focusing and prioritizing investments in people particularly the youth in order to achieve sustainable development in Africa.

The President in his speech indicated that “countries that have done well even without natural resources, are countries that have invested in education and skills training. What the evidence from history and experience of many countries have shown is that it is not natural resources that build nations, but rather people who build nations. It is not gold, cocoa, diamonds, timber or oil that is going to build Ghana. If it was, it would have been done long ago.  It is Ghanaians, especially the youth of today, who are going to build Ghana.”

He pledged his government’s support in making sure youth development is a reality in the country by rolling out and implementing programs and policies that affect positive change in the society.  This task will be performed within four pillars, which is health, education, good governance and economy.

Preceding the President’s speech, the Minister of Planning Hon Prof. George Gyan Baffour said his Ministry is working closely with the National Development Planning Commission to further formally engage stakeholders to prepare the national strategy for investing in young people in order to reap the DD. This national task calls for all hands on deck in order to build consensus on what it is we want to do with our youth, our economy, our educational system, our health system, and our governance structure and processes in order to reap the benefits of the DD, the minister said.

Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, Head of youth division at the African Union Commission, lauded Ghana and UNFPA for launching the roadmap in the country, she expressed optimism that this will help the youth in the country develop into their full potential and be a national asset for development.

Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, the country Representative of UNFPA-Ghana, in his closing remarks expressed his appreciation to the President of the Republic for his commitment and support towards the launch of the two documents and pleaded with all stakeholders to work in line with the President’s agenda for the youth of Ghana.

He promised the Government, of UNFPA’s unconditional support in order to make harnessing of demographic dividend in Ghana achievable.

Under the hashtag “#PutYoungPeopleFirst’ President Akufo Addo and the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Christine Evans- Klock unveiled the AU roadmap and the Ghana strategic road map to declare Ghana’s launch of the DD.