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NYA begins consultations on national youth policy review

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Perry Okudjeto (left), Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports addressing participants at the forum. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Mr Perry Okudjeto (left), Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports addressing participants at the forum. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The National Youth Authority (NYA) is leading a consultative process for the review of the national youth policy by the first quarter of 2019.

The move, according to the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Perry Okudzeto, was to ensure that the policy was streamlined to have a link with the government’s transformational agenda.

"In its current state, the youth policy is not fit for purpose because it has failed to have a good linkage with the government’s economic transformational agenda, as well as the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The data used for the policy were based on the 2000 population and housing census and do not reflect current trends.

This is why we are seeking to complete the process of reviewing it by the first quarter of 2019," he explained.

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Consultative forum

Mr Okudzeto made this known at a national stakeholders' consultation forum on the review of the 2010 national youth policy held in Accra yesterday.

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The forum is the final of a series of regional consultative fora held across the 10 regions for the review of the policy.

This is the first time since 2010 that the policy is being reviewed, although one of its provisions says it is to be reviewed every five years.

Yesterday’s forum brought together representatives of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), youth groups, civil society organisations (CSOs) and representatives of political parties.

Key personalities at the event included a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NYA, Mr Emmanuel Asigri; the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Mustapha Ussif, and the Country Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Mr Niyi Ojuolape.

Youth key

Mr Okudzeto said given the fact that the youth constituted a greater proportion of the population, it was important for any policy that sought to empower them to be well thought through to make it relevant.

He said it was for that reason that the loopholes in the policy had been identified and were being worked on, alongside an implementation plan to comprehensively tackle the challenges facing the youth.

"The government is committed to ensuring that we bequeath to the youth a policy that will be comprehensive enough to address youth development challenges and also feed into the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda," he said.

In his remarks, Mr Ahomka-Lindsey said the government had made the review of the youth policy a top priority because it was the most sustainable way to develop the country.

“The youth constitute more than 16 million of the population and so any policy that can change the economic fundamentals of the country must be youth-centred, else it will collapse,” he said.

For his part, Mr Asigri said the NYA also placed high priority on the review of the policy because it was the document that would provide policy direction for implementing programmes to empower young people.

He assured the forum that the relevant stakeholders would be involved in putting the reviewed document together for onward submission to the presidency and subsequent approval.

Background

The National Youth Policy was launched in August 2010 on the theme: “Towards an empowered youth, impacting positively on national development”.

The policy, which is set out in 12 sections, provides guidelines for all stakeholders involved in the implementation of policies, programmes and projects for the development of the youth.

It was to have been reviewed in 2015, in line with the provision that it must be reviewed every five years.