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PRESIDENT LAUNCHES YOUTH IN AFFORESTATION PROGRAMME
Posted: 31 Aug 2018

H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the Youth in Afforestation programme at the Kumasi Jubilee Park in Kumasi. Speaking at the launch, President Akufo-Addo announced that 20,000 youth were going to be deployed to plant trees to afforest the nation’s forests, and expressed the optimism that in the next ten years, the trees would have been nurtured to grow to increase the Ghanaian forest cover, thereby reducing forest degradation and deforestation

The President said the natural resources would determine our existence as a people, and therefore, reiterated his conviction to manage them in order to combat climate change, as required by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the Youth in Afforestation programme was in fulfillment of his campaign promise, and that it will take two years for the completion of the exercise, after which it would be renewed.

He mentioned that only 20,000 out of 60,000 youth who applied were recruited, and urged the youth to be diligent in the discharge of their duties, assuring them that that he is actively engaging the Ministry of Finance to seek funds to recruit the remaining 40,000 applicants.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, thanked the President for the launch of the programme, which is in line with the 2012 Forest and Wildlife policy, Ghana Forest Plantation Development Strategy 2016-2040 (GPFS) which was launched by the government in November 2016, which seeks, among others, to establish 25,000 hectares of forest plantation annually.

He further explained that in line with the GFPS, the Forestry Commission and Youth Employment Agency (YEA), in November 2017, signed a Service Agreement for the joint implementation of the two-year Forest Plantation Programme under the Youth in Agriculture and Afforestation Module, under which the engaged beneficiaries would provide labour for all the activities to be implemented under the Forest Plantation Programme, to be funded by the Government of Ghana, through the Forestry Commission.

Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, expressed worry about the degradation of natural resources, mentioning Lake Bosomtwi as an example, and noted that the Youth in Afforestation programme will green the devastated forest.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, said the exercise was creating massive employment for the youth. He further announced that the Forestry Commission had partnered the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) so that 18 trees per hectare are planted in cocoa farms in the quest to achieve its target under the afforestation programme.

The Youth in Afforestation Programme has a two-year lifespan and it would be extended based on satisfactory results from the first phase of the programme. The Forestry Commission has therefore, in ensuring the success of the programme, established a robust monitoring system to ensure the activities of beneficiaries are monitored for optimum productivity.

There was a ceremonial tree planting exercise by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to commemorate the event.

 

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