The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reinforced his long-standing belief that the youth and all young people remain fulcrum around which the Sustainable Development Goals evolve.
According to him, the “Sustainable Development Goals are an investment for children, youth and future generations,” therefore “it remains abundantly clear that we must empower the youth to ensure success in the SGDs. “
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, June 8, 2023 when he presented award certificates to ten winners of the Junior Graphic National Essay Competition organized in partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals Advisory Unit at the office of the President at the Jubilee House in Accra.
With entries drawn from across the country, the ten 2023 awardees are Adjoa Nyameyie Fletcher, Amanda Osei Owusu Fosu, Wilhelmina D. Kuranchiewaa Frimpong, Awula Kai-Mansa Okantey and Ama Obeng-Baffoe, Aniel Otuo Serebour.
The rest are Benedict Dei Amoani, Rita Nana Akua Agyekum, Vanessa Lamisi Asiedu and Vanessa Lamisi Asiedu.
Describing it as a noteworthy initiative which must be maintained and continued, President Akufo-Addo said, these young people whose essays we honour today embodies the spirit of the words of the great African statesman Nelson Madiba Mandela when he said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Amongst others the President observed that, the participants have harnessed the power of education to express their thoughts, ignite change and pave the way for a brighter future and the essays submitted for this competition, demonstrated the debt of knowledge, the creativity of thought, and the passion that exists within our youth.
Of substantial notice to the President is how the winners of the competition have delved into a wide array of topics of significant national and global interest, ranging from eradicating poverty and hunger to ensuring quality education, promoting gender equality, and combating climate change, with each essay, he added, “providing a unique perspective, a fresh voice and an opportunity to learn from the minds of our future leaders.”
Therefore, he continued, “I say to you, your achievements today are just the beginning. Your essays have not only captured the attention of our nation, but also have served as an inspiration for countless others. You have demonstrated the power of words and the impact they have on society. Use this stepping stone a greater height to explore new avenues and continue making a positive difference in the world.”
“To all the participants, whether or not you received an award, I want you know that your contributions are invaluable. Your essays have added to the global conversation on the Sustainable Development Goals and you played an integral role in spreading awareness and fostering understanding of these goals among your parents and beyond. You have taken the first steps towards becoming changemakers and leaders in your own right.”
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering to “remember that, education is a lifelong journey, never stop questioning and seek to understand the diverse perspectives that exists in our world. Let your essays be catalysts for change, beacons of hope and testaments to the resilience of the Ghanaian spirit.”
He emphasized government’s enduring commitment to providing quality education for all our youth, and sustained position to invest in the development of our educational system, ensuring that every child has access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Whilst acknowledging the efforts of their parents, teachers and mentors, who have nurtured their talents and guided them along this path, the President extended the nation’s deepest gratitude “to the educators who have instilled in our youth the love for learning, writing and reading and the importance of critical thinking.”
“We have created an environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking and innovation, empowering our youth to shape the destiny of our nation and our world. I encourage all parents and guardians to continue to assist your wards to excel in whatever they do, so they can attain great laurels in life, be worthy citizens and most importantly be our nation’s future patriotic leaders,” he indicated.