Junior Achievement board inaugurated (Saturday, May 1, 2010, pg ....)

The Junior Achievement (JA) Ghana, a non-profit making organisation with youth empowerment as the core of its work, has inaugurated its board of directors with a pledge to promote youth development through entrepreneurship, financial literacy and working skills.
Founded in the United States of America in 1919, JA is dedicated to imparting business and economic values to young people and is currently reaching about 9.7 million youth in 123 countries around the world.
With the support of more than 300,000 volunteers from business and community organisations, the organisation has served as a catalyst in bringing real world business knowledge and hands-on experience to young people around the world.
In Africa, the organisation has reached more than 130,000 students in 18 countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo.
In Ghana, the relationship between JA , educators and the corporate leaders has ensured that over 10,000 youth in more than 80 schools or institutions across eight regions benefitted from projects which are aligned with the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Membership of the organisation is open to young people in basic schools to the tertiary level.
Inaugurating the board, the Vice-president of JA Worldwide-Africa Region, Mr Lamech Mbise said the inauguration of the new board should further strengthen the staff and board leadership which are critically needed for the organisation to “effectively fulfil its mandate in Ghana.
“We once again welcome the renewal of energy that will inspire and prepare Ghanaian youth to succeed in the global economy.” He said.
Mr Mbise noted that of Africa’s 900 million people, 125 are youth aged between 15-24 adding that what made JA badly needed was the fact that 33 per cent of these young people were unemployed.
He said with the current poor alignment between what children were learning in school and the needs of public and private employers, programmes such as Junior Achievement remained vital to addressing the capacity gaps.
The 10-member board is led by Ms Esther Cobbah who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CEO of Stratcomm Africa.
Ms Cobbah in her acceptance speech pledged the commitment of the board to youth development and ultimately the achievement of JA objectives in the country.
She said it was time the country energised the youth and gave them the necessary support to maximise their potentials.
She urged the corporate institutions to support organisations like the JA which was involved in youth development to ensure youth empowerment which would ultimately affect skills development and the consumption of goods and services.
The Managing Director of Barclays Bank, Ghana, Mr Benjamin Debrah said his outfit will remain committed to ensure that the youth who represent the future of the country were not only developed but also empowered to contribute to national development.
The Executive Director of JA Ghana, and a member of the board, Mr Jefferson Agbai, said the board would help champion the JA brand and leverage key relationships for operational sustainability and excellence.
The JA Ghana currently partners corporate institutions such as the Barclays Bank, Ghana Newmont Ghana Gold, Coca Cola Bottling Company Limited, Goldfields Ghana, DHL Ghana, Nokia and Gateway Communications Services.

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