President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has broken the ground for work to begin on the Ghana Award House, the new administrative building for the Head of State Award Scheme- Ghana (HoSA).
The GHS5 million project, a two-storey office block, with a 200- capacity conference room, training facilities and administrative offices, is expected to be completed in 36 weeks.
At a short ceremony on Wednesday at Okponglo, near Accra, President Akufo-Addo disclosed that he had always been excited about the work being done by the Award Scheme, which had helped young people discover thier potential, and find their place in the world for over five decades.
He said for many more young Ghanaians to benefit from the programme, it was important that a befitting administrative office be provided the Scheme, to facilitate the ambitious targets that would help drive growth in the country and beyond.
"The provision of a Ghana Award House, to serve this purpose, is my commitment towards driving the agenda of the Award Scheme,” the President said.
The Head of State Award- Ghana is the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Ghana and a member of the International Award Association. The Scheme is a youth development programme that seeks to challenge young people through a balanced programme of voluntary activities.
The Scheme, a non-competitive programme, helps unearth the potential of young people in diverse disciplines, and allows thier achievements to be recognised internationally. It is open to young persons from age14 to 24 years, regardless of their background and circumstances.
Over 750,000 Ghanaian youth have participated and benefitted from the scheme since its inception in 1967.
The President is the Chief Patron of the Scheme.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the completion of the Ghana Award House project will put Ghana ahead of many of the countries running the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
This will mean that Ghana will be the second country in Africa, after the Presidents’ Award of Kenya, and one of the few countries globally, to have its own administrative office.
The President noted that given the right support, the Ghanaian youth held the capacity to effectively shape the future of the nation and make Ghana truly the Black Star of Africa.
He announced that, in support of the operation of the Award Secretariat, its operational cost would be borne by the Office of the President, under the direct supervision of the Chief of Staff.
“Vehicles are also to be allocated to the Secretariat for its use. In addition to the one-million-cedi contribution to this project, Government pledges to do what it can to ensure that the project is completed in the next thirty-six weeks,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo called on individuals, corporate bodies, especially in the construction industry, to donate building material, to help the project come to fruition.
“Together, we can help make this project a reality," he said, adding, "I thank all who have contributed consistently towards the success of the Award Scheme. Now is not the time to rest on our oars, but to help realise the vision of an Award Scheme that is truly self-sustaining.”