Reverend Dr Erasmus Nii Bonne Odonkor, Forner General Secretary, Bible Society of Ghana (BSG), a Christian Organization, has called on Christians and government to harness the potentials of the youth for sustainable national development.
He said the numerous challenges confronting the country would reduce drastically if young people were empowered with the needed skills.
“With the increasing growth of young people, it is right to recognize that they can offer enormous potential gains to the country so harnessing their potentials is non-negotiable because they are the backbone of the country, ” he emphasized.
Rev. Dr Erasmus Donkor was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a valedictory service held at the Hope Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Sakumono to bid him farewell after nearly a decade of meritorious and outstanding service to the Bible Society of Ghana.
The valedictory service, which brought together Pastors and Ministers of member churches of the Bible Society of Ghana, was filled with prayers, laudatory remarks with musical renditions and hymnals from the Royals of Hope.
The outgoing General Secretary intimated that young people had the potential to be a powerful engine for development and said “to realize these potentials, we must recognize and invest in them whiles addressing their peculiar needs, include them in decision-making and empower them to bring the needed change the country desires.”
He said the waywardness of lots of young people that had completely engulfed the country lately could be attributed somewhat to the non-guidance and non-acceptance of the youth by the church as most of these churches had relented in their roles in molding young people to become responsible citizens.
“The church must be bolder in condemning wrong and upholding righteousness by promote an agenda of uprightness and integrity but ultimately the church has to become the light to illuminates the world and bring the needed change. ”
He further explained that, harnessing the potentials of the youth presents enormous opportunities for growth and transformation, adding that parents ought to set great examples for their wards who should grow up to be incorruptible and persons of integrity.
Outlining some strides chalked by the Bible Society of Ghana over the decade and as part of an agenda to promote biblical leadership in the country, he said the society had met its target of distributing over 600,000 Bibles across the country with many of these Bibles revised and translated in numerous languages for the benefit of all.
Rev Odonkor said in harnessing the potentials of young people to live responsibly, his outfit had over the years spearheaded an annual essay competition on integrity among pupils across the country.
He expressed appreciation to his family, pastors and staff of the Bible Society of Ghana for influencing his ministry and work, and he paid glowing tribute to the Korean Bible Society for its tremendous support to the Society since 2014.
Mr Joseph Nii Budu Tetteh, Chairman of Council, Bible Society of Ghana, reading a citation on behalf of the Society, described Rev Odonkor as a dedicated, devoted, diligent and dexterous leader who worked with decorum and distinction in his decade service which witnessed a substantial growth and transformation of the BSG.
“Your dynamic capabilities as Chairman of the West Africa and Africa CEO’s Affinity Groups has helped to leverage Africa’s course and strive to forge stronger partnerships and giving your significant leadership commitment of maintaining a vibrant organization, the BSG is ranked among the top five African Bible Societies” it said.
Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, a Past President of the BSG and the Chairman of the National Peace Council in his benediction, congratulated Rev Odonkor for his outstanding service and prayed for God’s continuous grace and mercies as he transitions to take up other roles.