Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Youth and Sports, has inaugurated Ghana’s Youth Consultative Assembly with a call for the establishment of a district level mechanism to ensure that the youth interacted with their respective Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He said the district youth coordinators should ensure that issues tabled for debate in the MMDAs had input from the youth and submitted to the respective sub-committees of the Assemblies well ahead of the discussion.
Mr Humado said the involvement of the youth would offer them the platform for harnessing the qualitative strength of the youth for accelerated national development as well as availing them an opportunity to explore the potential of a greater sense of self and nationalism.
The Youth Consultative Assembly, which is part of the Africa Youth Day celebration under the theme, “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding: Evolving Strategic Forum for Implementation of the National Youth Policy, was aimed at creating a platform to enable the youth to take part in the decision making processes, particularly ,on issues that affect their development.
It will also inculcate in the youth principles of Good Governance, Leadership and Democratic Values for active participation in decision making process at all levels.
The inauguration was also used to launch this year’s World AIDS Day, which will fall on December 1, under the theme: “Universal Access and Human Rights – The Role of the Youth.”
Mr Humado said the Government was committed to giving the youth meaningful lives and promised that in 2012 it would present to Parliament the Ghana Youth Bill for debate and passage into law to further enhance their participation in the governance process.
He encouraged the youth to actively participate in 2012 electoral process, starting from the biometric voter registration to the declaration of the final results.
The Youth and Sports Minister expressed concern about the current political and public utterances of some youth on the airwaves and in the newspapers and said democratic dispensation allowed freedom of speech but, “It is important that these groups do the right thing by detaching from insults and foul languages”.
Mr Humado cautioned the youth against illicit drugs, sexual promiscuity, violence and also not to act as surrogates for power-thirsty young politicians.
They should instead learn and use decent language during discourse on national issues.
Mrs Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu, Coordinator of the National Youth Authority, said the celebration of the Africa Youth Day was a clear manifestation of the continent’s commitment to youth development.
She said the National Youth Parliamentary Consultative Forum will eventually become a National Youth Parliament.
Dr Angela El-Adas, Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said the youth remained an important population segment for HIV interventions and programming because of their disposition to risky behaviours and relative vulnerabilities.
She encouraged the formation of partnerships with the youth in advancing specific HIV prevention interventions in order to half all potential infections by 2015.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister of Health, urged the youth to show braveness and know their HIV status to help them plan their future.