Youth leadership training initiative launched (Monday, July 19, 2010 Pg, 11)

A Youth leadership training initiative and a summer vacation school aimed at empowering students in first cycle institutions with knowledge in the sciences and leadership skills, has been launched at Mampong Presbyterian Senior High School in the Eastern Region.

The project, known as ‘Securing Their Future: Youth Leadership Training Initiative in Ghana’ is a collaboration between the Leadership Africa USA (LAU), a Washington DC- based NGO, focuses on delivering leadership development training to African youth and beyond and the Tetteh Quarshie Educational Fund with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Cocoa Foundation.

It will feature the training of teachers and the delivery of a daily science and  leadership courses to  participants.

 It will also introduce core leadership principles and create a foundation for increasing competence in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Computer Science.

Leadership Africa USA has worked extensively in South Africa, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, where it has most recently distributed more than 100,000 copies of the first French middle school leadership curriculum.

Launching the Project, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the LAU, Mr Walker A. Williams said the organisation’s goal was to work with its local partners and educators to provide Ghanaian youth with critical leadership skills to face the challenges and opportunities as the country strived to join the league of developed countries.

“Our goal is to also combine the importance of youth leadership development with the critical need to promote the importance of science among Ghana’s youth,” he said.

Mr Williams, who was accompanied by the Programme Director of the LAU, Ms Shehnaz Rangwala, added that, Africa would  depend on its youth and today’s youth represented the future of the continent  hence the need to empower them to contribute to the development of the continent.

“There is an immense energy among the youth across the globe, and Ghana's youth are no different. We are looking forward to working with our partners to equip these youth with the leadership and science skills to productively use that energy," Mr Williams noted.

The TQEF Project Co-ordinator, Mr Kwaku Amakye Odoi in his remarks reiterated the organisation’s commitment to ensure that science education was given the needed priority to achieve the objectives of the foundation which is dedicated to the memory of Tetteh Quarshie who is famous for bringing cocoa to the country.

In an address read on his behalf, Dr Wisdom Amoh, the Deputy Director of the Food Research Institute observed that science education remained the pivot of national development.

 He said “Science education will open nearly every socio-economic door for those who posses it” .

He urged teachers, curriculum developers, school administrators, government officials and college faculties to build on the national standards in science and mathematics in seeking higher levels of performance from all students.

“Societies whose  governments recognise the dependence of the development of successful technologies on broadly supported basic research are more likely to be healthier and economically prosperous in the future than those that do not”.

Mr Horace Dei, President, Tetteh Quarshie Education Fund, was equally delighted about the programme, stressing that “The opportunity to promote leadership development and science education among our youth in Akuapem is monumental, as we are in the business of creating a pipeline of Ghana's and the world's leaders in science and technology and various other fields”.

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