Abesim (B/A), Dec. 6, GNA- The National Youth Authority (NYA) has called for non-partisan and independent public views that would inform a realistic National Youth Policy document to address teething challenges confronting contemporary youth in the country.
Ms Francisca Oteng Mensah, the Board Chair of the NYA, who made the call, urged the youth to develop themselves such that they would occupy responsible and enviable positions, as the government creates opportunities for them to build their future.
She was speaking at the opening of a regional stakeholders’ consultative forum on the review of the National Youth Policy on Thursday at Abesim in the Sunyani Municipality.
The forum was attended by civil society actors, youth groups, assembly members, representatives of religious institutions and traditional authorities.
The National Youth Policy is a crucial document that provides a general framework for government to engage the youth and other stakeholders in meaningful partnerships with the view to rolling out appropriate interventions for youth empowerment and development.
According to the NYA, the current policy, drafted in 2010, might not reflect the development needs of the youth of today because of the passage of time and changing societal dynamics.
Ms Mensah, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region, said a technical committee has been set up to facilitate the review of the youth policy, but added that only views and opinions that are devoid of “partisan colours” would be collated.
She said the youth is an integral segment of the society and any government that undermines their role in nation-building could not be successful in achieving her vision for the nation.
This, the Ghana’s youngest law-maker, said was why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has placed priority on the development of the youth to enable them to contribute meaningfully towards accelerated national development.
Mr Martin Oti Gyarko, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said government programmes such as the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs), One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) and the Free Senior High School programme are focused on building a better youth for a better Ghana.
He said as the government does her part, it behoves on the youth to take advantage of those programmes to enhance their socio-economic livelihoods.
Mr Gyarko, who is the MP for Techiman North in Brong-Ahafo, noted with regret that drug abuse and peddling was gaining alarming proportion among the youth in the country.
He said concerted efforts are required to control the abuse of tramadol, alcoholism and Indian hemp smoking among the adolescents and the youth.
Mr Emmanuel Asigri, the Chief Executive Officer of the NYA, said national youth population has grown to about 16 million, hence the need to develop a youth policy document that would impact on the lives of young people.
He acknowledged the contributions of all stakeholders in the review process and singled out STAR Ghana and the Commonwealth Secretariat for their outstanding support to the NYA.
Earlier, Mr Asigri led members of the NYA Board to inspect on-going construction works on the Regional Youth Resource Centre being undertaken by the NYA in the Dormaa Municipality.
Mr Asigri expressed disappointment over the progress of work on the multi-million Ghana cedi project which comprises recreational facilities and ICT centre, and appealed to the Dormaa Traditional Council and the Dormaa Central Municipal Assembly to assist to ensure the proper supervision of the project.