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19.10.2003 General News

C50bn Approved for establishment of youth fund

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Kumasi, Oct. 19, GNA - Mr Edward Osei-Kwaku, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa West, said that Cabinet had approved of 50 billion cedis for the establishment of a youth fund, which is yet to be inaugurated. He said the fund would assist the youth who have acquired employable skills throughout the country.

Mr Osei-Kwaku was answering questions at a forum organised by Youth-In-Action, a coalition of youth groups in Kumasi in collaboration with Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) dubbed, "Meet Your MP" in Kumasi on Saturday.

The programme is aimed at giving the youth the opportunity to interact with their MPs to know about their development plans and programmes and their responsibilities as youth to consolidate good governance and community development.

Mr Osei-Kwaku said he personally worked on it when he was the Minister of Youth and Sports and that the approval was given in January, but its inauguration had been delayed due to changes being made to the modalities.

The MP said every Member of Parliament was desirous to do something for his or her constituency but were constrained because the constitution does not make provision of funds to support MPs in their efforts to develop their areas.

He said it was through the initiatives of the MPs when they went to Parliament in 1997 that they fought for five percent of the district assemblies' common fund for the development of their constituencies. Mr Osei-Kwaku said with the support of the MPs share of the common fund, he had constructed a market at Atonsu-Bokro, provided toilets, roads and street lighting, adding that he had provided over 800 street lights and has 60 more to be distributed to other areas in the constituency.

Mr Larry Bimi, Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in a speech read on his behalf, urged the youth to be proactive in the democratic process.

Speaking on the topic: "The role of the youth in democracy", Mr Bimi stressed that a positive commitment to democratic values for the society was of fundamental importance for the youth of Ghana to champion.

Mr Kwesi Ashong, Programmes Manager of CEDEP, called on the youth to embark on viable economic ventures to improve on their standard of living.

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