The Youth Leaders for Health in Africa, a youth advocacy group, has urged African leaders to invest more in building the capacity of the youth to ensure the realisation of Africa's Agenda 2063.
It also called for the youth to be given a hearing in decision making, particularly on issues that affected them and their future, to enable them to contribute towards development.
A statement issued to commemorate this year's International Youth Day and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said even though the event was being marked at a time that COVID-19 was ravaging populations across the world, it, however, presented a great opportunity to showcase youth as effective drivers of change.
It noted that an estimated 75 per cent of Africa's population was below the age of 35, making young people the bulk of the continent's total population.
Yet, many were able to participate fully in society.
This, the group said, calls for recognition and support of the youth to harness their potential, adding that young people, when empowered and given the right opportunities were effective drivers of change.
"As we celebrate International Youth Day 2020, we Youth leaders for Health in Africa, note that now, more than ever, we, young people must be engaged meaningfully.
“We ask that we be engaged in the development and implementation of programs for sustainable development at community, national and global levels," it said.
It further noted that to achieve lasting change in health now and after COVID-19, youth leaders must be engaged in global health discussions.
The group assured that it would continue to lend its support towards the realisation of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
"We urge for increased investments in health to build stronger health systems and for sustained focus on defeating malaria, as the world works at defeating COVID-19," it said.
"As youth leaders, we pledge unwavering support towards ending the malaria epidemic, achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and creating lasting impact towards sustainable development," the statement assured.
The aim of this year's International Youth Day is to shed light on the need to enable the engagement of youth by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive for the purpose of strengthening their capacity and relevance to achieve global action.
It was marked under theme: "Youth Engagement for Global Action."