A day’s Forum on Youth Participation in local Governance has been held in Winneba by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education with support from the USAID Electoral Support Project.
The programme focused on presentations by Focal persons, Miss Francisca Sarpong Owusu, in charge of Research, Programs and Advocacy at CDD and Mr. Abubakar Saddick Adam, the Municipal Planning Officer for the Effutu Municipal Assembly on avenues and opportunities for youth participation in decision- making, policy implementation towards social inclusion and service delivery; a focus on the youth with perspectives from respective bodies on youth development.
Hon. Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive in his address urged the youth to make use of all available platforms to fully participate in decision making as well as the local governance of the area. This he said can be better realized if the youth made use of the client service unit at the Municipal Assembly for accurate information on local governance to boost their participation for their voices to be heard for an effective inclusion in the system.
Touching on the future prospects of most of the youth as potential leaders to run the affairs of the state, Hon. Zubairu Kassim said that the assembly structure offers the platform to fully learn and partake in the governance process towards building a strong and a robust local government system which allows for the views of all to be incorporated to embrace the inclusion of the youth in decision making.
He appealed to the youth to fully patronize the numerous furnished library projects constructed and commissioned by the Member of Parliament and Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin to equip and acquaint themselves with current issues to position themselves well in their chosen fields of endeavor.
On his part the Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. Francis Asiedu, said that the Assembly will always promote youth centred policies and programmes aimed at developing the capacities of the youth in the Effutu Municpalty.
He charged the youth to channel their complaints about activities within the Municipality through the Public Relations and Complaints Unit of the Assembly Chaired by the Presiding Member for redress to promote youth inclusion in Local Governance
When he had his turn, Mr. Joseph Abban, the Municipal Director for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), appealed to the youth to be law abiding in pressing home their demands, avoid insults and work hard to build their capacities as well as learn the constitution of the country to be abreast with national issues and to shun away from the neglect of the law for parochial interest.
Some of the youth participants who made contributions during the open forum segment, expressed their dissatisfaction with what they called the non-involvement of the youth in the formulation of local governance policies, unavailability of well-resourced centres for the youth and the lack of information flow about the assembly’s projects and programmes for the youth.
STORY BY: CHARLES BAAH ABOAGYE