Government has engaged the services of twenty thousand (20,000) young men and women across the country to combat deforestation and desertification, reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss within the Ghana's forests.
The Programme-- which is in line with the New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) 2016 manifesto commitment of reforestation, forest rehabilitation and protection-- has an initial two-year life span, to be extended, based on satisfactory results.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who made these known at the launch of the Youth in Afforestation Programme on Monday, August 13, 2018, in Kumasi, reaffirmed his government's full support for every action that prevented forest degradation and deforestation, as well as increased the country's forest cover the programme.
President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in the initial phase of the Programme, adding that government had already begun preparations for the implementation of the second and subsequent phases of the programme.
President Akufo-Addo said out of the sixty thousand applications received by the Forestry Commission for employment, twenty thousand were recruited and gave the assurance that the remaining forty thousand unsuccessful applicants would be considered later in other phases of the programme.
He said he would engage with the Minister for Finance to seek additional funds to support the programme, so that the remaining applicants could be recruited while the Forestry Commission would also actively examine how it could use some of its internally generated funds to support the programme.
The President reiterated the commitment of his government to rolling out policy initiatives which would create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youth and reminded the public of the importance of the Youth in Afforestation Programme as what was made of the natural resources would be what determined our existence.
He expressed the hope that in the next ten years, God willing, Ghana would be green again, as all trees, which were being planted today, will be nurtured to grow increase the forest cover and also help to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
President Akufo-Addo urged the twenty thousand men and women employed in the Programme to be diligent in the discharge of their duties, adding that all the trees being planting today would go a long way to saving our lives and the lives of generations unborn.