President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut sod for the commencement of construction of a new administrative building for the Head of State Award Scheme.
According to the President, he is particularly happy that such important project is taking off under his tenure as President of Ghana.
“I am particularly happy that it’s under the tenure of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as President, that this befitting structure, which is long overdue, is being put out by an organisation that has had a positive impact on the lives of Ghanaian youth for many decades.”
According to the President, the completion of the project will stop the numerous threat from landlords which the organisation has endured for some time now.
“As President of the Republic and Chief patron of the awards scheme, I extend the appreciation of a grateful nation to the board of trustees, management and the entire family for bringing us this far,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President indicated that the awards, since its inception in 1967, has challenged and touched the lives of many young Ghanaians to not only find their true purpose, but has also enhanced their employability skills and competences.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that some 750,000 young people had participated and benefitted from the award scheme, which makes it an average of 15,000 people every year.
The President said in order to ensure that more Ghanaian youth benefit from the scheme, it is not out of place to have a befitting administrative office for it.
“Once completed, the Ghana Award House will be a two-storey office block with a 200 capacity conference room, a training facility all constructed at a cost of GHC5 million.
“As most of you know, the Head of State Award Scheme is an affiliate of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, which is run in some 130 countries globally and chaired by the British Royal, His Highness Prince Edward,” he stated.
The President added that the completion of the office will put Ghana ahead of many of the countries running the award scheme, “since most of them do not have an office of their own.”
“Ghana will be the second country in Africa, after the President’s Award in Kenya, and one of the few countries globally to have its own administrative office,” Present Akufo-Addo said.
The President said he has hope in the ability of the youth of Ghana to shape the future of the country, adding that the Asian tigers like South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore are where they are today because of the systematic investment made in their human capital, especially the youth.
“This is the reason why government, since 2016, continues to invest heavily into the development and education of our young people. I am happy to announce that in support of the operations of the award secretariat, its operational cost will be borne by the government under the direct supervision of the Chief of Staff,” he assured.
The project is expected to be completed in the next 36 weeks.