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Youth urged to get involved in decision making

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi and Rejoice Lavinia Eklu
Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister
Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister

The last leg of the nationwide regional consultative process for the review of the draft National Youth Policy (NYP) has been held in Accra with a call on the youth to contribute towards the development of the country.

Speaking at the forum in Accra last Tuesday, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, said every country’s development heavily depended on its youth, and Ghana was no exception.

That, she said, meant the country needed dynamism in its youth, pointing out that youth in many countries were leading the change agenda as well as transforming their societies.

“I would like to encourage you to get involved in decision making and be part of it,” Mrs Sackey urged the youth, adding that “when you contribute effectively, we will no longer have armed robbers or greedy ones in the system.”

New policy

A member of the Technical Committee of the NYP, Rev. Frank Lartey Jnr, said the existing national policy which was introduced in 2010 lacked an action plan, resulting from the lack of broader consultations during its formulation.

Rev. Lartey explained that the 2010 policy document was not fit for purpose and noted that the new policy had incorporated the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030 of the African Union and other relevant national development protocols into its formulation.

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He stated that the existing NYP did not address the challenges of the Ghanaian youth in modern times, stressing that when the policy was introduced in 2010, there were no SDGs or Agenda 2030, hence the need to review it.

“The review process has tried to involve everyone at the grassroots level,” Rev. Lartey said, noting that “the review process has done so much consultations.”

He said although the 2010 NYP was an updated version of the country’s first NYP in 1999, the policy ought to have been reviewed in 2015 as it was contained in the policy direction.

The new NYP has seven thematic areas, namely: Economic empowerment of young people; Youth health and wellbeing; Education, skills development and innovation, and Youth participation and governance.

The rest are Cross-cutting and mainstreaming; Institutional framework for youth development in Ghana, and Major youth development programmes.

Expected outcome

Rev. Lartey expressed the view that a detailed, well-structured policy document would enable the government to engage the youth and other stakeholders in achieving meaningful development in the country.

The Greater Accra Regional Director of NYA, Mr Mathias Blay, for his part, said the purpose for the consultative review was to enable the various stakeholders, particularly the youth, to contribute ideas to help shape the new policy.

He said the new NYP would also help to empower the youth to be able to participate in making decisions “regarding things that affect their lives at the district, regional and national levels.”

He said with the inputs from the various stakeholders and numerous deliberations, the authority would be able to develop a youth policy that would inure to the benefits of the country and its youth.