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Implement recommendations of youth policy - Commonwealth

BY: Kweku Zurek
Mr Rams Sushil, Programmes Manager, Commonwealth Secretariat
Mr Rams Sushil, Programmes Manager, Commonwealth Secretariat

The Commonwealth Secretariat has urged the government to implement the recommendations of a new National Youth Policy when it is finalised.

According to Mr Rams Sushil, the Project Manager of the Commonwealth Secretariat, one of the major criticisms of Ghana's last youth policy which was released in 2010, was that it was not implemented fully and as a result, the country did not reap all of the benefits.

Addressing a consultative workshop for the Ghana State of the Youth Development Report on Tuesday in Accra, Mr Sushil said any future policy should be based on facts and figures and not whims.

He said: "The first part of having a new policy is to have a situational assessment done on youth development in Ghana. What we always do is that when policies are developed we advocate for evidence-based policies based on facts and figures not just because somebody wants to do something and puts it in the policy.

He also advocated for all stakeholders to be involved in the process of creating a new one.

"Following the report, we hope to have a National Youth Policy which will respond to the findings in the assessment, which means it will respond to the needs and wants of the young people.

"Once the policy is done, we will look at the implementation and we have a number of implementation strategies that is being considered; youth mainstreaming, a collaborative approach and coordination of the policy between MMDAs and donor agencies to deliver the policy. The Commonwealth Secretariat is providing technical assistance in terms of the consultant and guidance like this workshop".

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The CEO of the National Youth Authority, Mr Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri expressed gratitude to the Commonwealth Secretariat for providing a consultant to produce the report.

He explained that the report was a vital step towards solving the major problems confronting Ghanaian youth including; drug abuse, illegal migration and crime.

Report

Explaining the methodology of the report, its author Mr Michael Boampong, the founder of NGO Young People We Care (YPWC) said the exhaustive 294-page report relied on relevant pre-existing data from organizations such as the United Nations.

He revealed that he also conducted focus group discussions and one-on-one semi-structured interviews with young people aged between 15-19 years as part of the research process.

The report recommended improved coordination between social protection programmes, providing opportunities to girls, improved public financial management to tackle inequality and removing constraints for disadvantaged youth.