The National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Samuel Awuku, has received a Continental Youth Icon Award from the All African Students Union (AASU), a continental student movement.

The 2017 Africa Education and Leadership Award was given in recognition of Mr Awuku’s outstanding leadership and exceptional excellence in championing education and youth-related development in Africa.

It also recognised his unwavering commitment to the empowerment of girl-child programmes in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Exemplary leadership

A citation accompanying the award stated that, “We wish to recognise you for your long-standing relationship with AASU and your unwavering commitment to the empowerment of the students and youth of the continent.

“Your show of exemplary leadership, especially during the 2016 general election in Ghana, serves as an unalloyed inspiration to the students and youth of Africa. This award further serves as an acknowledgement of your consistent advocacy for students and youth rights and your direct engagements with young people across Africa.”

The citation added that Mr Awuku’s continuous guidance and mentorship of many students and young people across Africa had not gone unnoticed by the union.

Passionate about youth

Receiving the award, Mr Awuku thanked the union for the honour bestowed on him and encouraged them to aspire to greatness in life.

He said the challenge faced by the youth was enormous but with strength and courage, they could surmount it to accomplish their dreams.

He also commended the leadership of the union for producing several leaders on the continent who had become shining examples for young people.

Mr Awuku stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is passionate about youth empowerment, had initiated several youth-oriented programmes and policies to motivate them to go into entrepreneurship.

That, he said, would help to empower them to create employment opportunities for themselves and other young people as part of efforts to alleviate poverty facing young people on the continent.

“The daily scenes of youth crossing high seas and deserts is appalling,” he said and called on the leadership of AASU to help empower the youth to grow more confidence in themselves to become responsible future leaders.

Interest in mediation

“I am confident that the 1990s efforts we initiated as members of AASU to empower the youth, especially the girl-child, will help change the future of girls and mentality of our youth,” he added.

The NPP national youth organiser further appealed to the leadership of the union to take a keen interest in various mediation efforts on the continent to ensure the good governance needed to create serene atmosphere for young people.

“As a continental body, you cannot shirk your responsibility to encourage and criticise the government,” he added.