Ghanaian News

Chief Justice to youth of Ghana: You hold the key to country’s development

The Chief Justice of the Republic, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, has declared that the youth of Ghana hold the key to the nation’s development and that the kind of efforts they make towards the country’s development will determine the speed of her transformation.

Speaking today (12 October 2022) to participants in the annual Chief Justice Mentoring Programme, which brings together students from junior and senior high schools to inspire them to take up studying the law, Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah said the developed world is what it is today because of the contributions of its youth and adults alike.

The theme of Justice Anin-Yeboah’s speech to the students was “I Pledge Myself to the Service of Ghana”.

The Chief Justice said his annual mentoring programme “is designed to inspire young people to take up service to the nation, whether in the judiciary or in other, equally noble endeavours”, for the purposes of building Ghana to the status of those nations that are generally admired, especially in the Western world.

“It is impossible to overstate the need to devote oneself to the service of our country,” the Chief Justice said. “Often, it is thought that service to our motherland can only be delivered from some particular positions. The truth, however, is far from this.

“A nation’s greatness is collected as a sum of the individual efforts of its citizens, wherever and however they may apply themselves.

“A nation cannot be great if only its public servants are great. A nation is not truly great until all of its citizens are bound by a sense of duty to the collective good. So, what I want to say to you young people here, and the millions out there who cannot be here today, is that your efforts are what will make this country, like those ones beyond the seas that I am sure you admire,” said Justice Anin-Yeboah.

“It took the efforts of people like you, some only a few years older than some of you here today, to produce those inventions, those ideas and those projects that have made some countries answer to the description of ‘developed’. The task I set for you is to also see yourself as capable of doing the same for Ghana.

“To do this will require not only competence at your tasks, but integrity, patriotism and belief in yourselves and your nation. Those are the values that will differentiate you from others and set you and our nation on the path to greatness,” the Chief Justice said.

Ghana’s fate
Delivering a speech on behalf of the First Lady of the Republic, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who was the special guest of honour at this year’s Chief Justice Mentoring Programme, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, chair of the board of directors of the Minerals Commission, urged participants to remain committed to their dreams and aspire for excellence because, for Ghana to survive, all her citizens, both young and old, must be at their best, she said.

“As leaders of tomorrow, Ghana’s fate in this uncertain world rests squarely upon your shoulders, along with the millions of your colleagues sitting in classrooms around the country.

“Do not be discouraged by [Ghana’s challenges]: instead, envision a future in which you take on and defeat these challenges. Be excited about the future when you will have the opportunity to manage this country even better than any of us who have come before you,” said Oteng Gyasi, speaking on the First Lady’s behalf.

UNFPA representative
The Ghana country representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Barnaba Yisa, in remarks read out on his behalf, said that UNFPA is delighted to have been associated with the Chief Justice Mentoring Programme over the past five years.

The UNFPA “will continue to facilitate this innovative approach”, Yisa said, “which reaches out to poor and vulnerable people, particularly girls out of school, who otherwise could not have been privileged to be part of the Chief Justice Mentoring Programme”.

Justices Eric Kyei Baffour and Georgina Mensah Datsa, both of the Court of Appeal; Kathleen Addy, the chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education; Yaw Oppong, director of the Ghana School of Law; and Yaw Acheampong Boafo, the president of the Ghana Bar Association, took turns to address the students at the event.

They all recalled the challenges they faced as they attempted to climb the academic ladder. They urged students at the event not to pay attention to present difficulties they may have, but to keep their eyes on the bigger picture and the prize.

Participating schools
This year’s Chief Justice Mentoring Programme featured ten schools, five each at junior and senior high school level.

The senior high schools are Adjen Kotoku SHS, Kwabenya SHS, Frafraha SHS, Amasaman SHS and Al-Basar SHS.

The junior high schools were Morning Star, EP Church JHS, Achimota JHS, Martyrs of Uganda JHS and the School for the Blind in Akropong.

Other participants were the Orange Ambassadors, representatives of the United Nations Population Fund.

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