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05.09.2004 Regional News

Programmes to unite youth in conflict areas advocated

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Ho, Sept. 5, GNA - Alhaji Rashid Bawa, Minister of State, in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, on Saturday advocated the drawing of programmes aimed at bringing together youth from opposing sides in conflicts to enable them to interact with each other, towards sustainable peace in those areas.

He said the interplay of good values by the youth from various backgrounds and areas could assist in strengthening peaceful co-existence between communities.

Alhaji Bawa was addressing the closing ceremony of the "National Youth Camp For Peace 2004" in Ho, a weeklong ceremony that was attended by over 600 delegates from all the regions of Ghana.

Youth Chiefs and other opinion leaders from the Northern Region and conflict areas of Volta Region were also invited to the Camp. Alhaji Bawa expressed joy at the memorandum by the 23 participants representing the youth from the feuding Peki-Tsito and Alavanyo-Nkonya areas.

The message expressed concern about loss if lives, poverty, diseases, undevelopment and low standards of education that often characterize conflicts.

It called on the National Youth Council (NYC) to organise activities that could assist in increasing interaction among the youth in the conflict areas.

Mr Bawa said Government was committed in ensuring that the youth acquired vocational skills and that Youth Training Institutes would be established in Nalerigu, in the Northern Region, by the close of this year.

He expressed regret that despite efforts by Government to sensitise the people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS, people still engaged in unprotected sex.

A resolution adopted at the Camp, among other things, called for the "promotion of cross-cultural exchange programmes and networking among the youth of various socio-cultural and religious background to enhance national integration and international understanding and cooperation."

It also asked the NYC to ensure that Youth Leadership Training Institutes were established in all the regions and expand facilities at existing centers.

The resolution said, to ensure enough resources for youth work, non-governmental organizations and other para-state institutions should also be encouraged to support youth development programmes.

It also called for free and compulsory education for the youth in the rural areas, institutionalization of the National Youth Camp with a permanent secretariat, building of sports facilities by local governing bodies and more attention to be paid on youth with special problems such as those living with HIV/AIDS.

Lectures on good governance, a mock parliamentary session, games, excursions, dinner and a dance were organised at Camp.

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