Kezia Asiedua Sanie, the 23-year-old budding lawyer, visionary social entrepreneur, advocate for quality, inclusive and holistic education and the founder and president of For The Future (FTF) Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to addressing child poverty and educational inequalities in Ghana on Friday, 11th August 2023 was sworn in as part of the 13-member of Trustees for the Head of State Awards Scheme at the Jubilee House by the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo
The Head of State Award Scheme( HosA ) is a leading structured (non-formal education and non -political) youth development program, empowering all young people aged 14-24 to explore their full potential and find their true purpose, passion and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance. By recognizing the amazing things young people can do and learn outside the boundaries of formal education, the Award empowers them to discover hidden talents, develop untapped leadership potential and make a difference in their community.
The Board of Trustees of the Head of State Award Scheme is established as the governing body of the Award Scheme with a three-year mandate, charged with the responsibility of ensuring the future sustainability of the Scheme in Ghana and as a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association. It. is a group of volunteers from diverse backgrounds who seek to improve and grow the National Award Operators (NAO). They are responsible for fulfilling the purpose, strategy and mission of the NAO. The Board exists to carry out its purposes for the benefit of young people, ensure compliance with NAO’s governing documents and the law, act in an NAO’s best interests, manage the NAO’s resources responsibly, act with reasonable care and skill and ensure an NAO is held accountable. The new Trustees are Harry B. Sintim-Aboagye, the Chairman of the board; Gladys Amoah, Vice-Chairman; Kwadwo Addeah-Safo, Secretary; Daniel A Adotey, Trustee; Hajia Muniratu Lamptey,Trustee; Dr Juliet Yayra Tengey, Trustee; Ohenewa Sakyi Bekoe, Trustee, and Kezia Asiedua Sanie, also a Trustee.
The rest are Stephen Oduro; Trustee; Pius Enam Hadzide, Trustee; Gifty Sakyi-Bremansu, Trustee; Abena A Antwi, Trustee; and Peter A. Anum, the Chief Executive.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who led the board to swear the official oath and the oath of secrecy, advised them to provide direction to the operationalization of the award programme, as trustees, to reach out to more young people and maintain public confidence in the scheme.
He also urged them to mobilize resources and funds to sustain and grow the awards scheme for more young Ghanaians.
He said the secretariat was constructing an award house for the scheme saying that also required the trustees to see to its completion.
He pledged his support to the scheme to help create avenues to enable the youth to explore and be innovative and use creative ways of solving societal problems to ensure the development of the nation.
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo expressed the readiness of government to continue to provide adequate financial resources to enable the scheme to reach out to more young people in the country.
“The skills gap thus exist, but I believe programmes such as the award scheme create opportunities for young people to up their skills, bridge the skills gap and be all round citizens.
“I am unable to accept the saying that the golden age is always in the past. It is obvious that Ghana’s golden age is yet to come, how can we not hope for a golden future when we are blessed with such enormous wealth and human potential,” he added.
“I place great hope in their potential to shape the future of Ghana to make the Black Star shine,” he asserted.
The President said the head of state award had been in existence for well over 50 years in Ghana and had been responsible for equipping many young Ghanaians with skills and experiences aimed at preparing them for life.
The programmes under the scheme, he indicated, were tailored towards instilling the virtues of discipline and civic responsibility and the obligations of leadership in the youth of the country.
In addition to that, he said, the awards scheme equipped, empowered and transformed the lives of young people to be successful in life by giving them a platform to discover and develop themselves through volunteerism, skills development, adventurous journeys and physical recreational activities.
Currently, President Akufo-Addo said, half of the world’s population was under the age of 30 with 90 per cent of that age group living in emerging development economies.
He said the aspirations and needs of young people and their ability to meet their full potential remained largely unmet due to the myriad of economic challenges currently confronting the world.
Despite the odds being stacked against the youth, he expressed confidence that when youths were empowered, development outcomes improved.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Harry A. Sintim-Aboagye, in his response, implored the President to initiate legislation to protect the intellectual property rights for the youth in Ghana.
That, he explained, was to stop the exploitation by the poachers. He expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in them to lead and guide the award scheme and gave an assurance that they would work to the best of their ability.
He stressed the commitment of the trustees to the cause saying, “we will work as a team with the support of all stakeholders to make more young Ghanaians ready for life and work through the award programme.” Mr Sintim-Aboagye also promised that the board would work assiduously for the completion of the award house.
“The award used to be delivered in seven regions. As at the beginning of 2021, through your support for the national revival and expansion programme, we have extended the reach of the programme to nine regions with over 60 new award centers established in 2022.
“We engaged over 12,000 young Ghanaians in various activities in the four mandatory sections of skills development, voluntarism, sports and adventure,” he said.
Kezia Sanie’s story is a testament to the transformative power of one person’s dedication and vision. Given Kezia’s passion for children and youth, being a trustee allows her to actively contribute to a program that aligns with her values and provides tangible support to the demographic she cares deeply about. As the youngest trustee, she is happy to directly influence the direction and strategies of the Award Scheme, bring fresh ideas and perspective of the youth for discussions, ensuring that it continues to make a significant positive impact on the lives of young individuals, helping them find their purpose and make a difference in their communities. Her belief that every child deserves access to quality learning opportunities resonates with the inclusive nature of the Award Scheme