Nana Akufo-Addo described Mr Awuku as an inspiration to millions of youth in the country and beyond.
“Congratulations to NPP National Youth Organiser, Sammi Awuku, on being named ‘Continental Youth Icon’ for 2017. He is an inspiration to the millions of youth in Ghana & on the continent, & a representation of the oft-cited adage ‘hard work pays off,” Mr Akufo-Addo said in a tweet.
Mr Awuku was named as the 2017 Youth Icon by the All Africa Students Union (AASSU).
The award was part of the AASU Youth Summit; an annual event which honours individuals and institutions that have championed or contributed to education and youth-related development.
At a presentation in Accra, Mr Peter Kwasi Kodjie, Secretary General and Head of Mission of AASU, said Mr Awuku has not only become a role model to his political party or country, but also the youth in Africa.
He mentioned previous award winners like President Paul Kagame, Uhuru Kenyatta and Macky Sall.
The citation for Sammi Awuku read: “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 elections 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 right; and your direct engagements of young people across Africa. Your continuous guidance and mentorship of many students and young people across Africa has not gone unnoticed by AASU.”
In his response, Mr Awuku said the development of the youth is a shared responsibility. Though he admitted the challenges facing youth development in Africa are enormous, he expressed some delight in the work of the current regime.
“The current regime is passionate about youth development, every decision has the sole aim to alleviate poverty and create jobs for the youth. This is very encouraging,” he said.
He called on the leadership of AASU to support Ghana and other countries to alleviate poverty.
“The AASU should be at the forefront of youth development and also help shape youth mentality,” he stated.
Mr Awuku called for unity among youth leaders, and urged them to collectively fight for the development of the youth. “As a youth leader, your sole aim should be youth development, nothing more, nothing less,” he added.