Government has been urged to formulate a comprehensive national youth policy to accelerate the development of young people in Ghana.
The youth at a forum to mark this year's African Youth Day in Accra, made the call and lamented that there was inadequate commitment by politicians and other leaders of the country to issues concerning young people.
The event that was under the theme: “Peace Solidarity and Positive Values Promoted by African Youth”, was organised by UNICEF and Speak Ghana, affiliate of Speak Africa, Pan-African children and youth communication strategy and media platform.
Participants were drawn from Children and Youth in Broadcasting (CYIB), Global Youth Action Network (GYAN), Federation of Youth Association (FEDYAG), National Union of Ghana Students, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), among other youth organisations.
They expressed worry that the day was not publicly commemorated and awareness creation on the event was low in the country.
The youth appealed to government to ratify the African Youth Charter, which was adopted by the African Union (AU) in Banjul, Gambia, in July, 2006, of which Ghana was a signatory.
Participants said that the lack of political will to move the agenda for youth development forward and inadequate skill training for the youth affected the development of young people in the country.
Mr. Kwame Anane Frimpong of GYAN, a facilitator of the programme, asked government to involve the youth in the formulation of policies that concerned their welfare.
He said “an empowered, knowledgeable and skilful youth of today would be tomorrow's human resource base and leaders.”
The Charter created a legally binding framework for African governments to develop supportive policies and programmes for young people, and serves to fast-track the implementation of such initiatives.
It also provides a platform for the youth to affirm their rights and fulfil their responsibility of contributing to the development of the continent among others.
The year 2008 has been declared by the AU as the year of the African Youth and every 1st November has been set aside for the celebration of the day of the African Youth.
Speak Africa, as part of its agenda, is embarking on campaigns including the "No violence Against Children and Youth, and the Ratification of the African Youth Charter".
It seeks to embrace the power of art and popular culture to engage young people across divergent socio-economic background.
Speak Africa engages the power of artists to rally young peoples, promote positive African identity, magnify young voices and access media platform.
UNICEF was named as the lead agency for organising and supporting youth participation of the 13-to-19-year-old age group of the youth as well as the Speak Africa campaign.