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20.06.2005 Regional News

Assemblies urged to allot funds for youth programmes

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Ayeduase (Ash), June 20, GNA- Metropolitan/Municipal and District Assemblies have been urged to allot part of their annual budgets for the sustenance African Youth Alliance (AYA) projects, being implemented by the National Youth Council (NYC). Programmes being pursued under the project include, education on the impact of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) and how best to reduce the negative effect as well as leadership and vocational training.

Mr Kwesi Evans Nkum, Project Manager of the NYC/AYA Policy and Advocacy Project, who made the appeal, said the intervention of the assemblies had now become crucial, because funding for the AYA project, which began in 2001 would cease by the end of June 2005. He was addressing a mock assembly held for the youth in the Kumasi Metropolitan Area (KMA) at Ayeduase, near Kumasi on Monday. The mock assembly, which was organised by NYC in collaboration with the AYA, was designed to create avenue for the youth to discuss issues related to ASRH and other social vices impeding development of the youth.

"The AYA project has been a vital tool in the transformation of the sexual behaviour and social conduct of the youth, and for that matter we should not allow it to die, simply because external funding for it would come to an end", Mr Nkum said.

Mr Amankwah Frempong, Ashanti Regional Youth Co-ordinator, entreated corporate bodies support youth programmes that seek to address health issues, especially HIV/AIDS prevention instead of sponsoring beauty contests alone.

He said: "it is not realistic to provide sponsorship for contests like 'Miss Ghana' and other social activities, when the very people who are to participate in them are either hungry or sick". Nana Opoku Agyemang Bawuah Nsafua, Ayeduasehene, commended AYA for designing programmes for the youth and gave the assurance that traditional rulers would support AYA activities. June 20, 05