KUMASI, GHANA– President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana on Tuesday launched a national flagship programme aimed at addressing the twin challenges of youth unemployment and poverty.

The Nation Builders’ Corp (NABCO) initiative seeks to create 100,000 jobs annually for graduates to transition from the classroom to the job market. The scheme follows an assurance outlined in the 2018 budget of an arrangement targeted at addressing graduate youth unemployment.

The grim story of youth unemployment has been part of our lives for such a long time it is important that we do things differently if we are to restore hope and dignity to our youth, President Akufo-Addo said at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, capital of Ashanti Region (Province).

He noted that it was heartbreaking that year after year, the number of graduates outstripped available jobs, which was even made worse by a ban on employment in the public sector.

Making reference to World Bank statistics which said 48 per cent of Ghanaian youth did not have jobs, the President said the government was working assiduously to ensure that the economy grew rapidly to absorb the teeming youth of the country.

NABCO, he said, would have a positive practical impact on the citizenry and address holistically the challenges of youth unemployment and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of our graduates.

The central focus of the scheme is to create employment opportunities for Ghanaians with diplomas and degrees from accredited tertiary institutions, and galvanize them across the length and breadth of the country to enhance the core mandate and efficiency of both public and private institutions.

The initiative, a voluntary one, would have adequate representation from across the country. Graduates would be recruited under several modules to include, health, governance, enterprise, revenue, education, agriculture and information communication technology (ICT).

Those recruited under the scheme would be placed in jobs for three years, with modest stipend of 700.00 cedis (about 155 US dollars) monthly.

President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that the initiative would prepare graduate adequately for the labour market and enhance their career path in the long run.