The Head of State Award Scheme has said it is currently perching in a “wooden” structure on the premises of the GNAT Hall near the Ministry of Information.
The Scheme’s Executive Director, Mr Peter Akai Anum, told CTV’s Anopa Dwabre Mu hosted by Nana Yaw Adwenpa on Wednesday, 14 March 2021 that it has been at that office for more than two decades, thus, the need for a permanent structure to house the Scheme.
Mr Anum also revealed that more than 750,000 young lives have been touched by the Scheme in its 60-year existence, singling out footballer Michael Essien, as an example.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, 7 April 2021, cut the sod for the construction of GH¢5 million edifice to house the Scheme, dubbed the Ghana Award House.
Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony, President Akufo-Addo explained that since its inception in 1967, the Head of State Award Scheme has challenged and touched the lives of many young Ghanaians, with some 750,000 young people participating and benefitting from the Scheme.
“I have always been excited about the work being done by the Award Scheme, and that is why I continue to urge them to ensure that as many young Ghanaians as possible benefit from it. To achieve this ambitious target, a befitting administrative office for the Scheme will be required. 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.
Once completed, the Ghana Award House project will be a two-storey office block, with a 200-seat capacity conference room, and training facility designed to house the National Secretariat of the Head of State Award Scheme.
The administration building, the President noted, will help drive growth, impact, and the effective and efficient delivery of the Award Scheme to all young people in Ghana and beyond.
The President 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”, and 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.”
He also announced that in support of the operation of the Award Secretariat, its operational cost will 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 (36) weeks,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo called on individuals, corporate bodies, especially in the construction industry, to join hands and bring this project to fruition, explaining that they can donate bags of cement, blocks and other building materials in support of this project.
“Together, we can help make this project a reality. 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,” the President added.