Youth Urged To Participate Actively In Policy Making And Implementation Processes
The youth has been called upon to participate more actively in policy making and implementation processes, to ensure that their interest as young people are integrated into National development. Lawyer Dennis Owusu- Appiah Ofosuapea, a youth development advocate and a Board Member of the National Youth Authority (NYA) made this call in a webinar organised by the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) in commemoration of International Youth Day 2020.
Mr. Ofosuapea addressing the youth, emphasised that young people must ‘subscribe their interest in law, policies and programmes, without that nothing much happens’. He insisted that if young people do not take their rightful place in policy making processes, nature will fill the vacancy for them and it may not necessarily be in their interest.
This year’s theme for the International Youth Day is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’. The Webinar which was organised on the theme ‘Inspired and Engaged for Ghana’s Democratic Development’ brought together young people from various youth groups and networks including the National Network of Youth Groups in Ghana.
Lawyer Owusu-Appiah Ofosuapea who is also a former President of the Federation for Youth Association Ghana (FEDYAC) encouraged the youth not to allow political parties to break their front. He warned that politicians will always try to disintegrate the youth to reduce their influence and power to advocate for their interest, but young people must not allow that to happen. He cited examples of NUGS, FEDYAC and COYAC actively influencing and engaging politicians in the implementation of policies in the 90s and the early 2000s. He also shared that constant engaging with policy leaders presents priceless opportunities to young people for their career development.
On the Issue of the formation of the Ghana Youth Federation as provided by the National Youth Authority Act 2016 (ACT 939), Lawyer Ofosuapea informed the participants that the NYA Board has given explicit orders to management of the NYA to facilitate the formation of the Youth Federation. He asked the youth to work with the NYA to ensure the federation is established in the nearest future. He also urged young people to always use legal means to advocate for their interests.
FOSDA is implementing several youth development projects including The Ghana Youth Development Enhancement (GYDEP) Project to support young people to build capacity to participate actively in governance processes at local and national levels. GYDEP seeks to strengthen the voices of young people and enhance the capacity to influence national and local level policies. The project has facilitated the establishment of a National Youth Network and regional youth networks in 7 regions in Ghana.