A delegation from South Sudan on Friday, October 22, called on the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Osei Assibey Antwi to understudy Ghana’s National Service Scheme in order to replicate it in their country.
The delegation which was led by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Peter Baptist Abakar, included a representative from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr Aluel Beda and Apio Adelino as well as a UNDP representative to South Sudan, Christiana Ahenkora.
A statement signed by the Director of public affairs at NSS, Mr Armstrong Esaah, said the South Sudan team was exploring the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the management of NSS for knowledge sharing on youth development.
The press release quoted Mr Abakar as saying: “We have done good feasibility studies and we have noticed that you have rich experience that we want to copy and paste in South Sudan,” he said.
He said the government of South Sudan had begun taking steps to invest in the youth to change their mindset and channel their youthful energy into productive ventures that would help them to contribute to their country's development.
Mr Abakar said their country recognised Ghana as a force to reckon with in terms of human resource development which was why they took that decision to visit Ghana to understudy the operations of NSS.
South Sudan, a country which is rich in natural resources including gold and diamond, has a total population of over 14 million people with about 73 per cent of them being youth.
Current records show that, about 99 percent of the youths in South Sudan are jobless.
Also, the country has been badly affected by the war which plagued the nation two years after achieving independence in 2011.
Mr Assibey Antwi, who received the South Sudan delegation at the NSS secretariat, took them through the operations of Ghana’s NSS.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Executive Director of NSS in charge of General Services, Mrs Gifty Oware-Mensah, Deputy Executive Director in charge of Operations, Mr Kwaku Ohene Gyan, and Director of General Administration, Mr Paul Owusu Appiah.
Mr Assibey Antwi assured the South Sudan delegation of his willingness to share Ghana’s experience with them.
He said the secret behind the success story of Ghana’s NSS was the effective management structure, which comprised the board of directors and the executives who oversee the smooth running of the scheme.
He highlighted innovative programmes the management of NSS introduced over the years to equip young graduates with employable skills that would make them fit into the world market and also be relevant stakeholders in national development.
Mr Assibey Antwi assured the South Sudanese delegation of the full commitment of the management of NSS to provide their Ministry of Youth and Sports the needed support to develop the competences of the youth in their country.
He commended their ministry for taking cognisance of their youth development.
"The youth of today are the future leaders in every country and therefore if it is inculcated in them the sense of patriotism and love for their country and backed by the necessary moral tracing and knowledge, their life could definitely be transformed and could contribute meaningfully to their country’s development efforts,” he said.
He added that there was the need for countries in Africa to pay more attention to youth upbringing and development because they constituted the potent resource that could be harnessed to transform the continent.