Parliament calls for patriotism to be injected in the youth
Parliamentarians on Monday advised Ghanaians to inject large "dosage" of patriotism into the youth rather than use them for political and ethnic agitations.
It said by this, the youth would grow into valuable assets to the nation and Africa as a whole.
The advice was given when debates ensued to adopt the reports of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Youth and Sports, and Culture on the African Youth Charter.
Mr Isaac Asiama of the New Patriotic Party and member for Atwima Mponua, who gave the advice, said most often politicians used the youth to perpetuate political violence.
He said during political campaigns, politicians promised the youth so much, but in most cases reneged, hence the agitations and what he described as "foot-soldierism," which he explained as youth agitations.
The NPP member for Weija, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, said if 38 out of 58 nations had ratified the African Youth Charter, then it meant it (Charter) was enforceable.
She said the Charter gives rights to the youth to live productive lives and serves as a framework for African countries to address the problems confronting the youth.
Mr Sampson Ahi of the National Democratic Congress and member for Juabosa, said politicians must desist from forming youth groups to terrorize others to achieve their political ends.
He gave the examples as "Bamba Boys or Girls" adding that it was time to use the youth for productive ventures.
Samia Nkrumah, Convention Peoples Party (CPP) member for Jomoro, said the Charter should be a reminder for African leaders to focus on job creation for the youth, adding that the youth formed the majority population in Sub-Sahara Africa.
He called on the African leaders to double their efforts to promote industrialization.
A Joint Committee report on Foreign Affairs and Youth and Sports and Culture read by Mr Francis Osei-Sarfo, Chairman of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the African Youth Charter was presented to the House in October 2010 for ratification in accordance with Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Order 183 and that of 187.
He noted that the Charter aims at providing the political framework for youth development in the continent and sought to actively involve the youth in development.
Mr Osei-Sarfo, "The Charter is the most important entry point to their (youth) active involvement and participation in development processes."
He said the Charter emphasizes the preservation of basic rights afforded to the youth, which include the right of development, privacy, protection of family and property, freedoms of involvement, expression, association, freedom from discrimination based on race sex, religion, and expressed opinion or beliefs.
Mr Osei-Sarfo stressed that the Committee observed that the provisions of the Charter were in consonance with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and other existing laws relating to the development of the youth in Ghana.
"The Charter pegged the age definition of youth between 15 and 35 years. Meanwhile, article 62 (b) of the 1992 Constitution placed the age limit presidency to 40 years," he said.
The Committee urged the Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure that the Charter becomes a reference document for policy makers as well as vigorously implement its provisions.