The government of Denmark has pledged to support interventions aimed at creating job opportunities for the youth in the country.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Stig Barlyng, said Ghana’s economic growth had to translate into opportunities for youth employment, as youth employment was also an indicator of good economic growth.
He added that figures indicated that about 350,000 of the youth were annually being added to the list of the unemployed in the country making it an area of concern for immediate attention.
Mr Barlyng gave the pledge at a meeting with the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Ibrahim Awal, in Accra yesterday.
The meeting was to afford Mr Barlyng, the new Ambassador, who has been in the country for just two-and-a-half months, the opportunity to acquaint himself with the quality products of the GCGL, and for the effective collaboration of the Danish Embassy and the GCGL on governance issues.
Sharing his perspective on development assistance, Mr Barlyng said his tenure would be characterised by initiatives that would support fully the people and government of Ghana in realising their aspirations.
He said as a development worker with 25 years’ working experience gained mostly in African countries, such as Uganda, Burkina Faso and Zambia, development for him was a partnership and not an interaction between donors and recipient countries.
He would, therefore, endeavour to ensure that development assistance in the country would be seen as a partnership and not as two groups of people working from opposite poles, with donors on the one hand and recipients on the other.
In line with that, development assistance from Denmark would be aligned with the aspirations of the people of Ghana.
Although Denmark would be contributing about GH¢404,073,172.00 in the next five years in development assistance programmes in various sectors of the economy, Mr Barlyng was of the view that funding should not be the basis for a development relationship between the two countries.
The basis, he said, of any development co-operation had to do with achieving results, and that Denmark would work to achieve international pledges on aid effectiveness.
He added that since achieving the results of development was the focus of all partners in development, it was the right and duty of all partners to communicate in earnest on issues of development.
Mr Barlyng said Ghana was a key development partner of Denmark and the relationship was growing with the strengthening of ties between the two countries.
As part of the co-operation, initiatives had been reviewed and an enhanced co-operation package would soon be launched to further boost the development initiatives.
A new phase of business support programmes, the strengthening of civil society organisations through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the support to independent constitutional agencies, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Judiciary and Parliament would soon be launched, he said.
On democracy, Mr Barlyng praised the country for its success in good governance, but added that good governance also meant good procedures in the management of public affairs.
On the elections, he expressed great optimism in the country’s ability to democratically and peacefully elect a President on December 7, 2008.
Mr Awal, for his part, said Graphic was a development-oriented paper and was focused on aligning itself with all organisations and agencies promoting and supporting development.
He said Denmark was a worthy partner in development judging from its development initiatives in the country thus far.
DAILY GRAPHIC, NOVEMBER 19, 2008