The Young Diplomats of Ghana (YDG); a nonprofit network of young aspiring diplomats and policy advocates last Friday hosted a debate to mark the 2017 International Youth Day with a call on government to create the necessary opportunities for young people to be effectively get involved in the governance and decision making process.
The debate which focused on the subject “Is the Ghanaian youth well equipped to effectively participate in the governance and decision making processes of the country?” came off at the British Council in Accra, with the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans – Klock as Special Guest of Honor.
The debate created an opportunity for young people from across the country to join the young diplomats to discuss the very critical issue of the effective participation of young people in the governance and decision making process, in the presence of government officials, representatives of the United Nations (UN), academia, civil society groups, international community and the media.
In her remarks delivered by Mr. Bawa Amidu, UNFPA Assistant Representative, the UNFPA Ag. Country Representative, Ms. Erika Goldson noted that the topic for the debate was very relevant to the 2017 International Youth Day theme; “Youth Building Peace”, an indication that young people can efficiently contribute their quota to peace building, if they are well equipped and fully involved at all levels and stages of the governance and decision making agenda of the country.
As the debaters and the audience took turns to discuss the high and low points of government’s commitment to youth development and empowerment, it was obvious that there is the need for a strategic agenda to be implemented by government for Ghana to reap the benefits associated with its ever increasing youthful population.
As agents of social change and economic growth, the debaters called on government to afford young people the opportunity and appreciation to be involved in the decision making process since they are affected by decisions and policies taken by the government in all spheres and sectors of the country’s economy.
Speaking at the program, Ms. Christabel Dadzie, Social Protection Specialist with the World Bank Group urged the Ghanaian youth to play their part in the development agenda by not only demanding what is their worth but should also be responsible citizens in their everyday roles, “be it in advocacy, citizen engagement; and even ‘simple’ things such as keeping our environments clean, and time management…”
The 2017 International Youth Day Debate was hosted and organized by the Young Diplomats of Ghana in working partnership with the UNDP, UNFPA, NYA and the World Bank Group.