African leaders have been urged to invest more in leadership and self-development programmes for the youth to enable them to make significant contribution towards national progress.
Mr Archibald Donkor, acting Coordinator of the National Youth Council (NYC), said since the youth are the most precious asset and constitute the strategic human resource base of the continent it is important their well being is not taken for granted.
Addressing a forum to mark this year’s African Youth Day, in Kumasi, he condemned the situation where the youth are used to fuel political, religious and civil conflicts.
They bear the brunt of these conflicts, suffering pain, and unimaginable atrocities, he complained.
“Promoting National and African Development through Youth Volunteerism,” was the theme for the celebration.
Mr Donkor counselled youth clubs on the continent to collaborate with corporate bodies and intensify outreach programmes to encourage young people to appreciate the value of hard work, self-help and volunteerism.
He drew attention to the need for sustained and well-coordinated voluntary work designed to minimize the incidence of malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal and infant mortality, unemployment, illiteracy and hunger, which he said were crucial to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by African countries.
Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, in a message delivered on his behalf, called on the youth to avail themselves of government programmes structured to improve their wellbeing.