Mr Speaker, in conclusion, Yahuza Yakuhu, Majeed Alhassan, Hahib Mohammed Dagbana, Alhassan Shaibu Imoro Gundana are five innocent young boys languishing in Tamale Prisons for the fact that they are NDC members. Mr Speaker, I want to say I am happy that the former Minister for the Interior is here, he is now the Majority Leader, let Government release those guys or take them to court. otherwise, the people of the North will never forgive them. [Hear! Hear!]
Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports (Mr Reuben Nii Nortey Dua): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to thank His Excellency the President, John Evans Atta Mills, for his State of the Nation Address which he delivered to this august House on Thursday, 25th February, 2010.
Mr Speaker, it is gratifying that His Excellency in the early stages of his Address talked about sports. We all know sports is a unifying factor and for that matter, football is followed by most people in this country. He mentioned the exploits or successes of the Black Stars in the CAN 2010, which took place in Angola and the
fact that our players did so well. Well, we can recall that when His Excellency the President addressed this House last year, he mentioned that he would try his best to ensure that the Black Stars qualified for the World Cup in South Africa and that indirectly meant a job for the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
So we also upheld His Excellency the President's wish and did everything we could and the Black Stars qualified, not only for South Africa but for Angola. We have to thank His Excellency the President and the Government of Ghana for what they did in support of the players, their bonuses and their per diem, which spurred them on to the qualification. But we also need to add that through His Excellency's support, we do not only have the Black Stars qualifying but We haven the under- 20 female squad, the Black Princesses also qualifying for the World cup in June this year.
So our women Under-20 have also qualified for the World Cup. And through His Excellency the president's support to the Under-2O hockey team, we have the Under-20 hockey team qualifying for the Youth Olympics in Singapore in August this year.
Quite recently, they went to South Africa to win the Africa Olympic Tournament and they beat all teams including teams which Ghana had never beaten before as far as hockey is concerned. They beat South Africa, they beat Egypt, they beat Kenya, they beat all the teams and they took the gold in the tournament, thus qualifying for the Youth Olympics in Singapore. So a lot of progress, a lot of qualifications are coming our way and that points to the fact that it is so much better for our nation.
Mr Speaker, the success of our youth in the hockey tournament stems from one
thing. The fact that His Excellency, within a record time, built for us a hockey stadium with all facilities. The stadium has a lodging facility where the boys and girls lodge and train and the fact that he provided astro turf, the water-based modern astro turf at the stadium - This was Where the boys and girls trained before they could win the tournament.
So all these facilities provided support or the health for the boys and our girls to compete in that tournament and this facility, as I have said early on; has a lodging facility. The stadium has a lodging facility and it can provide training ground for European teams during their training for their summer hockey tournaments.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President also touched on the youth and then he made mention of the fact that there is the need for youth development. He pointed out that youth development has to be undertaken or has to be enhanced by the oil and gas, which will provide the industrial take-off for the country. Then he mentioned the aluminium industry, the petro-chemical industry, the fertiliser industry and the industrial chemical industry, the integrated iron and steel industry.
We have to thank His Excellency the President for all these initiatives or all these efforts which are coming up because we believe strongly that it is true that our young people who are leaving the senior high schools and the university graduates are coming out without any jobs. But these are developments or industries which are ready and would offer the jobs for our people in future.
To add to this performance or this effort, the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) has introduced a lot of new modules and some of these modules include youth in dressmaking, youth in film making, ICT, mobile phone repairs, artisanship, shearnut butter processing, grasscutter rearing and bamboo processing and products and we believe that all these things have taken off. [Some Hon Members: Where?] If you go to the various districts, you will see the youth -- [Interruptions ]