NGO challenges political parties to produce youth-centered policies
8/18/2012 5:30:26 AM -
Accra, Aug. 17, GNA - Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana), a non-governmental advocacy group, on Friday called on political parties to inculcate in their Election 2012 manifestoes youth-centred policies toward empowering young Ghanaians to take up leadership positions.
'YES-Ghana through the banner of Voices of Youth in Ghana calls on all political parties and their flagbearers to outline measurable policies and programmes that would make the youth succeed.
'The youth of Ghana demands from politicians youth-centred policy interventions, we want to measure their commitment and vote accordingly based on issues concerning the youth,' Ms Rhoda Mahamah, YES-Ghana Project Manager, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday.
She condemned the use of the youth as 'political machinery' to win elections, and dump them after winning power by political parties.
Ms Mahamah said: 'This year, we demand from our leaders and political heads, concrete measures to transform the youth as productive members of society, active citizens, and drivers of socio-economic development in the country.
'We want the 2012 election agenda to focus on youth for many reasons as the demographics of young people provide a compelling justification for focusing on ways to improve their economic and social wellbeing.
Ms Mahamah said the youth needed interventions in education, health, employment and other needs, since human resource was significant to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
She noted that efforts towards achieving the MDGs in Ghana were determined partly by the situation of young people and bridging the gap between their present realities and the MDG targets.
Ms Mahamah stressed that focusing on the youth would be in fulfilment of national, regional and international commitments, which Ghana was signatory to, including the 1992 Constitution, the African Youth Charter, and the United Nations World Programme on Youth.
She said all these recognised the importance of young people's role in poverty reduction and development.
Mr Emmanuel Edudzie, Executive Director of YES-Ghana and Convenor of the 'Voices of Youth' community said: 'We no longer want our elections to be about which party can mobilise the most numbers of youth with a few Ghana cedis here and there to cause mayhem.
'We want to see concrete policies and programmes, we want assurances on the decision making table, and we want a more comprehensive national youth policy that shapes youth development in Ghana.
Mr Edudzie said making the youth the pivot of national development would have direct dividends for current and future generations.
He called on all those contesting for political power to partner the youth at all levels towards a more inclusive and sustainable development process.