Mr Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) on Tuesday said the proposed change of name of the programme to Youth Employment and Development Programme (YEDA) was necessary to reflect the importance of the programme.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, he said authorities of NYEP in 2009 proposed that the name should be changed to Youth Employment and Development Agency (YEDA), which should have a legal backing to ensure that it received annual budgetary allocation to solve its debilitating allowance payment system.
Mr Pele was reacting to a proposal by Professor Atukwei Okai, a renowned poet, that the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) should be changed to National Youth Empowerment Programme to reflect its role in society.
He explained that “National Youth Employment” created the impression that the programme only employed people but in reality it offered empowerment to the youth.
Prof. Okai made the proposal at the passing out of the third batch of trainees of the Ghallywood Film Academy (Ghallywood), a project under the NYEP at Prampram in Dangme West District of Greater Accra Region.
Ghallywood in collaboration with NYEP would train about 500 youths across the country in various disciplines of the movie industry.
He commended government for instituting effective structures to sustain the NYEP, and stressed the need for it to have legal backing to ensure permanent funding to solve the perennial delayed payment of allowances.
Prof. Okai who is also the Secretary-General of Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) lauded authorities of Ghallywood for the initiative and advised them to use drama to market the country’s cultural and traditional heritage to avoid copying some foreign values, which were alien to Ghanaian culture and tradition.
Mr Pele said his outfit had already finished preparing a memorandum (Memo) to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for submission to Cabinet to change the name to reflect its activities.
A draft made available to GNA read, “It is recommended that the name of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) be changed to Youth Employment and Development Agency (YEDA).”
Mr Pele said youth unemployment was a problem confronting many countries with the worse being developing countries including Ghana therefore, there was the need to pay more attention to initiatives tailored towards addressing unemployment.
He said a legal framework backing YEDA when approved would be a permanent feature of empowering the youths and vulnerable women in society by equipping them with employable skills to improve their living standards.
Mr William Akuffo, Director of Ghallywood, expressed the hope that the Film Academy would become one of the leading film training institutes on the continent to change the face of movie industry in Africa.
He said Ghallywood Academy was established to train the youth in the industry to acquire the needed skills and gave the assurance that the institute would train people to entertain and educate Ghanaians.