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15.06.2005 General News

Youth Unemployment Deliberations Begins Today


The Institute for Democratic Governance, an Accra-based policy think tank, is to begin a series of public-deliberation exercises on youth unemployment in several districts around the country.

Known as the governance issues forums (GIFs), the exercises are scheduled to start today in the Western Region and end on June 30 in the Greater Accra Region, according to a statement issued and signed by its executive director, Emmanuel Akwetey in Accra last Monday.

The choice of topics was derived from field visits by the institute's staff to the districts in early 2005. The topics are, therefore, reflective of the development needs of the people, as they see them, and not the prescribed development objectives of local or national bureaucrats.

This is a major objective of the GIFs to promote citizen involvement in and ownership of public policies that affect them. The GIFs are taking place at a time when the national government is preparing the second phase of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy which is expected to address job creation as well as excluded and vulnerable groups, particularly the youth.

Subsequent studies by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) found that unemployment rates among youth aged 15 – 29 years are much higher than the national average.

The forums were the result of an agenda-setting conference organised by the institute in April 2004 and are being supported by the Royal Danish Embassy/DANIDA, the United National Development Programme/National Governance Programme, and the African Capacity Building Foundation based in Zimbabwe.