THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has called for collaboration between the public and the various security agencies to deal with the upsurge of violent crimes such as armed robbery, cyberfraud (sakawa), the illicit drug trade and drug abuse among the youth in the country.
According to him, the government had mapped up strategies to deal with those issues of security threat, while the security agencies were also on top of the situation.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said it behoved the public to volunteer information on such activities to nip them in the bud so that they would not destroy the youth who were the future of the country.
The regional minister made the call at the launch of this year’s National Gold Test Expedition at Kintampo, which formed part of activities under the Head of State Award Scheme programme aimed at developing the youth to become good and useful citizens.
About 170 students from tertiary and senior high educational institutions across the country, including three participants from Nigeria, participated in the expedition.
The participants would cover a distance of at least 80 kilometres on foot in four days in the countryside (from August 26 to 29, 2009), spending three nights away from the comfort of their homes at their base at the Kintampo SHS.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stressed that the cyberfraud and drug abuse among the youth had not only gained root in the country’s tertiary educational institutions, but had also crept into senior and junior high schools, which must be the concern of all.
He gave the assurance that the government was putting in place measures to address the high unemployment rate among the youth in the country by creating an enabling environment to encourage investors to come and do business as a means of creating jobs.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that leadership training was crucial for every human development and therefore saw the expedition as an avenue through which the youth could develop their sense of patriotism, self-confidence, creativity, teamwork and also appreciate life at the countryside.
The Executive Secretary of the Head of State Award Scheme, Mr Ernest Safo Ababio, said the scheme was first introduced into Ghana in 1968 as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which was a youth development programme initiated by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Philip 53 years ago.
He said it was leisure time activities designed for young people between the ages of 14 and 25.
Mr Ababio said the programme was initially introduced into the Commonwealth countries, but at the moment, about 120 countries worldwide were running the scheme.
He added that in 1974, Ghana changed the name from the Duke of Edinburgh Award to the Head of State Award Scheme by giving it a local identity.
Mr Ababio stated that the scheme enabled participants to know themselves and their potential and instil in them leadership qualities, self-confidence, perseverance, creativity, love for hard work, concern for others, the spirit of adventure, enterprise and patriotism, which are all qualities of a model citizen.
The Kintampo Municipal Director of Education, Rev. W.A. Abormegah, called on the youth to develop positive attitudes and eschew lifestyles that would destroy their future, as well as the confidence reposed in them by the nation and their parents in particular.