Youth should be viewed as partners in decision-making – Prof Adjepong
He observed that there had often been an omission on the part of decision makers to enhance the participation of the youth in making decisions that affected their lives.
He said the country had a fairly young population according to the recent census conducted and there was the need for active youth participation in law-making and policy formulation.
Prof. Adjepong made the call at a round table workshop on Strategic Future Leaders on the theme “Law Making and Policy Framework Implication on Youth Development” on Thursday in Accra.
The workshop organized by Future Leaders Group in partnership with the Parliament of Ghana, will discuss the development of appropriate policies and laws to ensure the constructive participation of the youth in emerging opportunities in national economy and called for a national debate to ensure inter-generational equity in Africa’s development agenda.
Participants will also discuss Africa’s youth crisis, poverty, HIV and AIDS, the role of Parliament and policy makers in setting the agenda for harnessing African youth in the next decade, local economies and agribusiness development, emerging trends, threats and opportunities.
Prof. Agyepong explained that the needs of the youth were likely to be ignored or insufficiently addressed if they were not consulted in the policy making process.
The Methodist University Principal called for the strengthening of public recognition of young people as key actors in social development processes and reiterated the need for their involvement in decision making processes since they were the future leaders of the country.
Mr Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, Chief Executive Officer of the Future Leaders Group, said the status quo, as far as policy guidelines for youth development were concerned, were abysmal and called for changes.
He called for the infusion of a more transformative paradigm change in the policy direction towards the development of the youth on the continent.
Mr Dei-Tumi expressed concern about the changes in Ghana’s education policy, which had affected the Senior High School system from four years to three years.
He noted that matters that revolve around the youth and their future should be depoliticized and must go beyond political interference and called for a paradigm change in education of the youth.
“We must accept that there is a cultural change and there is the need to put in place policies to ensure that the potentials in the youth are properly harnessed. They are the future leaders and we cannot prepare their future for them but can prepare them for the future.”
Dr Amos Sawyer, the former President of the Interim Government of National Unity in Liberia, who presided, reiterated the need for the youth to be involved in every decision making that concerned them so that they could also offer and give of their best.
“Countries that do not recognize the role played by the youth and involve them in decision making will always have ineffective policies,” he added.