Ofori-Atta tells the youth: we are reviving economy from Covid-19 setback

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is challenging the youth in the country to remain resolute and focused, as government makes efforts to revive the economy from the coronavirus-induced setback.

Sharing what he says are useful principles to guide the youth in navigating their way through the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the youth must form the habit of creating space and time to move away from the clutter and the noise to think and reflect on what they can do in their own small way to transform their communities and the country as a whole.

He was speaking at the Springboard Youth Dialogue Series in Sunyani, on Monday, June 7, 2021 under the theme: “Repositioning; navigating through COVID-19 and finding Career and Business opportunities.”

Drawing lessons from his personal life, growing up in Kyebi, a community with resource limitations in the eastern part of the country, the Minister charged the youth not to despise their humble beginnings as it serves as their foundation and roots, and determines how far they will go in life.

He recounted how he was born out of wedlock with his mother escaping from Kyebi to Kumasi, in order to escape the pressure of terminating the pregnancy because his dad was from a royal family and his mum did not want to ruin his father’s life, because he was pursuing further studies in the university.

He said: “If you are a young man or woman listening to me, this is a challenge for you to be strong in your convictions. Believe in who God has made you and do something great with your life and generations after you.”

Mr. Ofori-Atta said growing up as a young adult in a deprived community denied him of certain life opportunities, but that did not stop him from remaining steadfast and patient to realising his purpose in life.

He said it is this steadfastness and patience that pushed him through primary school in Ghana, through to secondary school to securing a scholarship to study in Columbia in the United States, and later pursuing his graduate studies in Yale.

He added that the pathway to greatness is often paved with pain and adversity but the youth must endure to create something of value for themselves stressing that it is this endurance that led to the birth of Databank, one of the leading investment banks in Africa quoting the famous Romans 8:28 Bible verse: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Navigating COVID-19

In his admonition to the youth, Mr. Ofori-Atta said despite the havoc created by the global pandemic, the youth should begin thinking about how to create opportunities for themselves even as government rolls out interventions to shore up key sectors of the economy.

He said, on government’s path, sustaining the economy in the face of global health crises remains top of its agenda and hence the youth must support government by taking advantage of the numerous opportunities it create in the economy.

Post COVID economic recovery

According to the Minister, government’s task in setting the economy back in motion is simple and straightforward. However, he said it is left with the youth to re-awaken their social patriotism and take advantage of opportunities to assist in developing the country.

This he said government is rolling out interventions such as; the GH¢3 billion credit and stimulus package by commercial banks in Ghana to revitalize industries, especially pharmaceutical, hospitality, services and manufacturing sectors; strategic support in income increases and life insurance in excess of GH¢ 320 million to incentivise health workers and allied professionals; supporting households and businesses with electricity and water subsidies in excess of GH¢1.3 billion and launching the GH¢ 100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa” programme specifically to transition us from a commodity dependent to self-reliant industrialized nation.

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