Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana), represented by Priscilla Adjubel, Finance and Administration Manager and James Anquandah, Communications and Mobilisation Manager, has participated in IEA’s Evening Encounter in Accra. The event, the second in the 2016 series, featured the Convention People Party (CPP)’s presidential candidate, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, who presented his vision, plans and strategies on how his government, if elected in November 2016, intends governing the country.
The highlight of the encounter was Mr. Greenstreet’s proposed Almond Cultivation project, which will be at the heart of a bustling and transformed Ghanaian economy. The project will employ about 2 million youth, each tasked with planting 32 trees in an eight hour schedule daily. With an international price of about USD 10,000 per tonne, almond stands to rake in an estimated USD 300 billion for Ghana annually, an amount way in excess of that derived from the export of cocoa and oil palm. Almond, Mr Greenstreet added, has a shorter growing period, coupled with a good yield and minimum rainfall requirement and starts bearing fruits after only two and a half years.
At the question and answer segment of the encounter, invited guests, mostly drawn from civil society and other interest groups, sought clarification and probed further into Mr. Greenstreet’s submission and how he intends tackling pertinent national issues when elected as president of Ghana. Priscilla Adjubel inquired of the flagbearer’s intended approach to harmonising the seeming dissonance in the current youth employment initiatives spread across different government agencies, noting that the legally established entity to oversee all youth related initiatives, the National Youth Authority, is under resourced. Mr. Greenstreet, in his response, acknowledged the relevance of the question and the worrying trend the current disharmony in youth employment has prevailed. The CPP’s presidential hopeful believes that streamlining all youth employment initiatives under one body will help ‘make significant savings’. The topic of youth employment, according to Mr. Greenstreet, had been raised at different youth fora he has been part of hence, the need to give the current National Youth Policy some consideration to strengthen it, rather than pass another set of policies or laws, which may only end up duplicating the already existing policy. Mr. Greenstreet also reiterated that his proposed Almond Cultivation project was not just an employment avenue for the youth. Rather, the initiative will be an agricultural incentive based scheme based on an out-grower concept similar to the current approach of the Ayensu Starch Factory.
Mr. Ivor Kobina Greenstreet also reacted to questions related to the economy, pollution of nation’s water bodies, the extractive industry, energy, affirmative action, and disability related issues.