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Home / Opinion / SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: The State of the Ghanaian Youth – Featured Article
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: The State of the Ghanaian Youth – Featured Article

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: The State of the Ghanaian Youth – Featured Article

In Post-Colonial Ghana, the state, political parties, religious organizations, communities and schools were entrusted with the responsibility of youth development. Their responsibility as agents of youth development involved the conscious effort to coordinate, develop and support positive activities that promote the social, emotional, physical, cultural, moral and academic well being of young people. In this regard, youth organizations such as the Young Pioneers, Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Young Christian Students, Boys Scouts, youth wing of various political parties, Ashanti Youth Organization, Young Pioneers etc were initiated to promote the interest and the well being of our youth. These youth groups even though encountered some challenges, largely contributed to raising great and charismatic leaders for the church, the community and State at Large.

On the Contrary, in contemporary times, these organizations have been segmented and strictly defined to meet specific objectives . In the Churches for instance, the youth wings are designed to instill moral discipline in the youth and to attract families into the church while Youth wings in political parties are aimed at attracting young people into a political cause and to canvass for political support. Also, Community Youth organizations have metamorphosed into interest groups engaging in incessant press conferences to support political decisions, candidates while thers entangled in all sorts of political fights to either to dis-tool a chief or get rid of government appointees.

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Does Ghana really have a national youth Policy?

Yes, as a matter of fact in 2010, Ghana adopted a national youth policy, focused on youth empowerment.According to Ghana’s national youth policy (2010), youth is defined as those between 15-35 years.
The policy covers main areas such as Education & Skills Training;Youth in Modern Agriculture;Gender Mainstreaming;Youth in Conflict Prevention & Peace-Building.

However, key stakeholders of this policy have not fully perform to its expectations. The National Youth Authority(NYA), formally called the National Youth Council (NYC), is an agency within the Ministry of Sports that is responsible for coordinating and facilitating youth development activities in Ghana. However due to unnecessary political infiltrations, inadequate financial resources coupled with lack of proper planning initiatives to enable it perform its mandate.

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According to a world bank report, 48 percent of ghanaian are jobless. This is very worrying especially in another World Bank survey in 2011, which showed that about 40% of those who joined rebel movements said they were motivated by lack of jobs.
To reduce the rate of unemployment among the Ghanaian youth, there must be an Independent Youth Organisation whose main mandate just like the Independent Special Prosecutor, will be to ascertain the needs of the youth, plan, direct and execute policies with focus on entrepreneurship and Agriculture.
With the proper incentives and motivation,the ghanaian youth can become a major source of economic growth in Ghana.

Credit: Jeffery Boadu

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