At the FOREFRONT of YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, since 1974

 

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE CEO NYA AT AN INFORMATION SHARING SESSION ON THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY OF GHANA (2010) THURSDAY NOVEMBER 23, 2017 AT ELLKING HOTEL, EAST LEGON, ACCRA.

We must all be feeling the pressure and the privilege of working in roles that impact youth development. The world now has the largest generation of young people in history with 1.8bn aged between 15 and 29. If we open the youth bracket as we have done in Ghana to include ages 30 to 35 years, the world youth population would be more than 2.1bn. 

So while we sit in this room as policy-makers, change agents and influencers, we must not forget the one invisible participant in this meeting - history. History is in this room to record steps we plan to take to accelerate and implement a youth policy that becomes a national factory for transforming youth potential into finished products of empowerment. That is why I feel the weight of expectation as the CEO of the National Youth Authority at this time of Ghana's development.  

The NYA presides over a frightening youth demographic in which more than 57% of Ghanaians are under 25 years. But we have an underwhelming national youth policy that is outdated and overrun by severe and serious global changes not to talk of the technological speed train. 

The current youth policy is a 27-page document outdoored in 2010 with no implementation plan until the year 2014. A Policy without an implementation plan certainly is akin to a packed passengers of an airplane without a pilot. Even more worse, is that the 2010 youth policy was based on a demographic data provided in the year 2000 census. Imagine this, youth population was then 33% of the entire population of Ghana. Today it is clocking 60% of the population.

So here we are in 2017 needing a youth policy that is urgent, updated, inclusive, visionary and more importantly executable. To adapt President Akufo-Addo's words, "we are an Authority in a hurry". We need a youth policy that takes into consideration the AU's Agenda 2063 plan to dedicate 50 years to empower African youth.

We need a youth policy that is in sync with the SDGs of which 8 out of the 17 goals directly affect the youth. And we need a youth policy that captures the agitated desire of Ghana's youth to see leadership leverage political will to solving the challenges of our time.

This is why the National Youth Authority would soon begin a national collation of ideas to improve the current youth policy. We want to consult both the grassroot and boardrooms to gather perspectives from the passionate.

We would touch base with representatives of the 216 districts guided by international standards for designing youth policies. We hope our interactions will whip up fresh passion from our constituents to build a Ghana rededicated to the founding ideals of volunteerism, strong work ethics, self-reliance and patriotism.

We are in a make or break season as youth leaders and workers. What we aim at is to write our names in the rocks of Ghana's history books and not for our inaction to get us write it in erasable sands of time. I choose rocks and I believe you would stand with the NYA to also choose rocks.

 

Thank you and I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland. God bless Ghana, God bless us all. 

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