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Central Region Youth Parliament inaugurated

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
One of the youth parliamentarians making a contribution during the session
One of the youth parliamentarians making a contribution during the session

A newly inaugurated Central Region Youth Parliament has called for more efforts to promote entrepreneurship among the youth to create jobs and reduce their vulnerability.

The National Youth Authority (NYA) inaugurated the Central Regional Youth Parliament last Friday, to give the youth a voice on issues affecting them.

Its first sitting discussed "Reducing Teenage Pregnancy in the Central Region - the role of the youth."

In a communique issued at the end of its first session in Elmina, the youth parliament indicated that the lack of jobs placed many youth in vulnerable situations, compelling them to engage in acts they would otherwise not have got themselves involved in.

The situation they indicated had contributed to the increased cases of teenage pregnancy.

They asked the government to work harder at providing the youth with avenues for jobs to empower them and make them self-reliant.

Mentorship programme

The communique further called for a Regional Teenage Mentorship programme to provide a supportive environment, access to appropriate and right information and counselling on adolescent sexual and reproductive issues, to help adolescents make informed and responsible sexual choices.

They further called for legislative backing for the NYA, to enable it to efficiently promote and empower the youth's participation in issues of governance and wellbeing.

The Regional Director of the NYA, Emmanuel Ofosu, called on the youth to take proactive measures to help fight teenage pregnancy in the Central Region, highlighted how important their role in furthering national development was, and how essential it was for youth parliamentarians to join the fight against adolescent pregnancy.

"Teenage Pregnancy is a very serious health hazard to our young ones whose future lies in our hands to protect. The Central Region is the third largest in terms of teenage pregnancy cases in Ghana. I, therefore, urge you as youth parliamentarians in your various districts in the region to be ambassadors of change and promote right sexual reproductive health issues,” he said.

Youth development

Mr Ofosu emphasised that the youth were a vital part of the country's development and that it was critical to focus on developing their potential in all areas, including training them in public speaking, which, he noted, many young people found challenging.

"The youth as we know have been acknowledged as an important human resource with the potential to contribute significantly to national development as well as the hope and aspiration for the future of this country," he stressed.

He emphasised that the NYA would continue to use the Youth Parliament platform to groom a generation of youth capable of taking on leadership roles in the future.

Commitment

The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, in a speech read on her behalf, pledged her commitment to ensure the youth parliament's growth and sustainability, as well as the realisation of its potential.

Mrs Assan stated that the fight against teenage pregnancy was real, and that it required collective efforts to reduce it to the barest minimum.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Solomon Ebo Appiah, urged the youth to stay away from irresponsible sexual behaviours and stay focused on their future goals and to make good all opportunities given them for a better future.