Afri-One Youth Forum Begins

Ghana and Nigeria bonded in Accra to roll out an Afri-Youth Forum, a non-profit organisation uniquely created to unveil the immense entrepreneurial potentials among the youth in Africa.

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The forum was initiated by three Nigerian and two Ghanaian students studying in Ghana, comprising Miss Chineyenwa Okoro Onu, Dankwa, Enavieno, Ebenezer and Seyi.

The mission of Afri-One Forum is to bring idealistic leaders in business, promote social change champions among the youth and enhance interaction to identify diverse problems and find solutions to them.

The more than four-hour event held on the theme: “The Ghanaian youth have a say,” brought together young entrepreneurs from Ghana and Nigeria as well as politicians, people from academia and business magnates from both countries to share ideas.

Some of the entrepreneurs who spoke about their success stories include Miss Mabel Suglo, a student at University for Development Studies and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ECO Shoe and Mr Etronam William Attipoe, CEO of Newmax Group.

Mr Nii Lante Vanderpuje, Minister Designate for Youth and Sports and Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo in Accra, warned that if society fails to support the large number of slum dwellers in places such as Sodom and Gomorrah, Abuja and Old Fadama in the Greater Accra Region, they would be encouraging a mass army of disadvantaged people who would take up arms to perpetuate crime in future in order to better their lot.

He said people who have stuffed apparel at home, without using them could bring smiles to these disadvantaged people by donating to them.

The MP promised to nurture the sense of patriotism in the youth by bringing back the Ghana Boys Scout and Girls Guild among others and team up with Afri-One to facilitate national reorientation.

Mr Vanderpuje was choked by emotion briefly about the difficult but selfless support her late mother learnt to him in his stressful journey through education and said through the experience he spends about GH₵ 430,000 on scholarships and bursaries on brilliant but deprived students in his constituency.

He said through this effort he is training different categories of professionals, including medical doctors and a rocket engineer in Russia.

Mr Vanderpuje said discipline and moral uprightness is the mark to success.

Miss Onu said the forum intends to galvanise African youth into action to change perceptions about the continent and solve the diverse socio-economic problems on the continent.

She said members would also focus on the poor performance of students who write the West Africa Senior School Examination in Ghana, and tackle the about 60 per cent pregnancy rate among students writing the Basic Education Certificate Examination.

The forum would deal with the mass illiteracy rate in Ghana and involve the youth in a Compulsory Youth Sanitation Programme, in collaboration with Zoomlion, a sanitary management company to tackle the poor sanitation problems in the country.

Dr Lawrence Tetteh, an Economist and international Ghanaian Evangelist, expressed the need for the nation to have a succession plan for the youth as well as interventions to empower them to deal with the challenges of the society.

He said an informed and very discerning youth is key to development.

Dr Tetteh, President of the UK-based Worldwide Miracle Outreach and Lawrence Tetteh Ministries, said leaders should find time out of their tight and responsive positions to mentor the next generation.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South, who quoted extensively from the Bible to deliver his speech, asked the youth to have governing principles in life and function in wisdom by embracing the values of religion.

He cautioned them against the abuse of the internet, which he said sways them from studying to approve themselves to embrace immoral behaviours such as addiction to pornography and violence.

Alhaji Baba Dantata, a Nigerian Businessman and CEO of Crescent House Limited, unveiled efforts of his company to tackle infant and maternal mortality, which he said is very high in Africa.

He promised to use the Afri-One platform to create awareness on the health problem and get a data base on traditional birth attendants and midwives in Africa to help deal with the issue.

Mr Kwaw Ansah, a renowned Ghanaian Film Maker and CEO of TV Africa, observed that teaching the child to work hard to meet the challenges of life is essential.

Dr Bettina Ama Boohene- Andah, a former Physician to ex -President John Agyekum Kufuor, who reacted to the various narration of the number of speakers at the forum of how they made it through the hard way in life, said there is nothing wrong for one to come from a privileged family.

“It is what you do with it,” she said.

Dr Mrs Antonio Ashiedu a Nigerian Entrepreneur, who spoke on: “Imbibing the spirit of enterprise,” said entrepreneurs could facilitate national development.

Reverend Godwin Mensah, President of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport asked the youth to venture into the sector since it holds a number of financial prospects.

He said every sector of the economy cannot cope without logistics and transport, hence the many opportunities for the youth for employment.

Mrs Dzifa Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Tourism who chaired the forum, said the passion Nigerians show to their culture and traditions makes Nigeria the candidate to drive the African agenda on the continent.

Source: GNA

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