The Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Pius Enam Hadzide, has paid a courtesy call on the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana with a mission to strengthen the ties between the two nations and promote mutual understanding among their youth.

At a diplomatic meeting held at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Hadzide highlighted the importance of the relationship between Ghana and China in three dimensions: bilateral, multilateral, and people-to-people connections. He emphasized that the “people-to-people” dimension is of paramount importance, as it allows the young people of both nations to develop meaningful relationships.

He noted that approximately 70% of Ghana’s population is below 40 years of age. Given this demographic, he stressed that fostering positive relations among the youth of both countries is crucial. Such relationships, he believes, will lead to more productive interactions and collaborations in the future.

Furthermore, Mr. Hadzide underscored the critical role that the youth play within the Ghana-China trade ecosystem, emphasizing the need for youth-oriented initiatives that can strengthen this relationship.

He recalled that the Chinese government and the former youth council, which has now evolved into the NYA, enjoyed a strong relationship in the past. However, this relationship waned for various reasons. He has therefore called for the reinstatement of this robust connection between the two nations.

Introducing the National Youth Volunteers Program (NYVP) as one of NYA’s flagship initiatives, he highlighted its similarities to common practices in China. This program, Mr. Hadzide explained, reflects shared values between Ghana and China and serves as a platform for enhancing the bonds between the two countries.

“The NYVP has engaged approximately one hundred thousand youth volunteers in various fields and modules, leading to noteworthy contributions such as the construction of school buildings by these volunteers” he noted.

Pius Hadzide appealed to the Chinese government to support the NYA, particularly in the areas of finance, technical assistance, and capacity building aimed at enhancing young people’s participation in patriotism and leadership development.

Reiterating the mandate of the National Youth Authority, he stressed the importance of inculcating the spirit of patriotism, discipline, and leadership skills among Ghanaian youth. To this end, he proposed the establishment of a Youth Leadership Training Program Institute, also known as the “Youth Leadership Center of Excellence.”

Mr. Hadzide expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Chinese government for its enduring support and collaboration over the years. He looks forward to further strengthening the bond between the two countries, particularly in the context of youth development and engagement.

Speaking on behalf of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Mr. Lu Kun, Mr. Shang Lingfeng, an Attaché, reflected on the profound diplomatic relationship between Ghana and China.

 

He said both nations established diplomatic ties in 1960, with their collaboration evolving over the years.

Mr. Shang Lingfeng noted that since 1963, Ghana and China have been actively involved in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, further strengthening the relationship between the two countries. He highlighted their mutual respect for human rights, as mandated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR).

The Chinese representative stressing on the bond between the two countries, recalled the visit of Ghana’s President , Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo to China in 2018, when he attended the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

He said Youth and education are critical aspects of the bilateral relationship between China and Ghana and on their side, they have cooperated on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs). Saying an example, he explained is a Chinese-built vocational institutions upgrade project which was completed not long ago, injecting a new impetus to the development of vocational education in the West African country.

Mr. Shang Lingfeng said the Chinese government has significantly established a new examination center for Ghana’s Ministry of Education included in the AVIC International Holding Corporation project.

He further explained that because Chinese culture and language are also being promoted in Ghana, there has been an introduction of Chinese philosophy in the three major universities, and approximately ten thousand Ghanaian students are currently enrolled in these courses.

“China provides two types of scholarships to Ghanaian students, ie. scholarships under the Confucius Institute for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, as well as the China Government Scholarship, which has seen Ghana as the highest applicant in Africa”.

Mr. Shang Lingfeng concluded by highlighting China’s commitment to strengthening its international connections and commended the National Youth Authority (NYA) for its National Youth Volunteers Program (NYVP). China, he revealed, operates a systematic volunteer program that encourages young people at a tender age to participate in various events. He praised the concept of volunteerism and noted that introducing it to Ghana’s youth is a valuable initiative.

As a final promise, he committed to informing his colleagues in the Youth Development Department and the Political Directorate about the appeal for the establishment of the Institute of Youth Leadership of Excellence, further solidifying the ties between China and Ghana in the field of youth and education.

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