The United State government will make huge investment on cash crop farming to attract the youth into cultivation, as part of commitment to help address alarming youth unemployment in the Northern Region, Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P Jackson has revealed.
Ambassador Jackson added that the US will also continue to expand its many longstanding entrepreneurship programs where young entrepreneurs are given skill training and supported with small grants to start or grow businesses in order to tackle the growing security concern.
Jackson was responding to a plea offered by the regional minister in their first face to face meeting on Tuesday evening at the Regional Coordinating building in Tamale.
In the meeting that lasted for less than an hour, the two men discussed issues that stymie progress of the region in many fronts including health, security, education, economic empowerment etc, and the US contribution to solving these and other regional challenges.
Ambassador Jackson in his remarks played up the achievements of the United State government in providing healthcare, quality education and attractive agricultural industry to the people of the Northern Region.
The US envoy explained his mission in the region was to fraternize and familiarize with regional key stakeholders, inspect ongoing US sponsored projects, and chiefly inaugurate some CHPS Compounds at Sang and Yendi districts, as part of commitment to community health in the region.
Under the United States Agency for Development (USAID) system for health program, US administrations have been spending thousands of dollars building CHPS compounds across four impoverished regions to improve accessibility, quality and use of Health services, with a focus on maternal and child health and nutrition services.
“We believe that these compounds bringing healthcare to communities are very important for maternal and child health”, he said. “In addition, I’ve looking at educational programs in the region where we emphasizing phonics in local language in the primary schools and it’s evident to me that the investment we’re making together with the ministry of education and Ghana education service is working.”
The regional minister in his brief welcome remarks listed the social intervention programs of his government and explained how its successful implementation will advance the lives of the people and redeem regional economy.
He emphasized the need for improved cooperation and collaboration in the areas of education, security, health and agriculture, before begging the ambassador to intervene in the youth unemployment situation.
“We have vibrant your groups, if they can train so that we can turn the political youth groups into entrepreneurial office whereby they don’t sit down and just talking about party politics but they can use the synergy that the group have, to be able to convert their energies into a very productive ventures”
“These are groups who want to to work but the jobs are not there so as they at group level that ‘an idle man is the devil’a workshop, so they are rendered so vulnerable in such a that any political group that will come and influence them, they easily come out and they engage in activities that do not help the peace here”, Salifu made the fervid request.
The ambassador after a pleasant dinner responded to the request in a sideline interview with reporters.
“…looking at youth employment in the context of agro industry, is something I will like to do more. We talk specifically about shea industry, the cashew industry and Mangoes, but they are a lot of crops that flourish in this region and I believe there is great potential there so we need to explore more, and we need to bring in private companies, so we will continue on attracting investment and cooperation with the Ghana Investment Promotion”, the ambassador disclosed.