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Unemployment, major cause of vigilante groups – Coalition

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The Coalition explained that youth unemployment had become a national threat and politicians tend to take advantage of the vulnerable state of the youth and influence them to form vigilante groups to cause mayhem especially during elections.

It was therefore imperative for youth to be enlightened and empowered to realize that they have potentials that could be developed to enable them secure decent jobs.

The coalition, made of the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) Ghana, Rural Media Network (RUMNET) and the Institute for Peace and Governance (IPEG), said this at a stakeholder- engagement on the implementation of youth and media sensitization project for peaceful 2020 elections.

Speaking in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Mr Sabie Naah Aiden, the Project Officer, WANEP-Ghana, stated that the project dubbed, “youth and media for peace project”, was sponsored by STAR-Ghana.

The aim of the project is to harness the diverse competences and resources of the three Organizations for Peace building and Development Programming in Ghana as well as to Promote Peaceful Elections in Ghana in 2020 and beyond.

The project is being implemented in 12 districts in four regions across the country including Bono East, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

Mr Aiden indicated that the project would focus on designing and implementing an enhanced elections early warning and response system, enhance the capacities of political party communicators and core-foot soldiers in constructive discourse and ethnical campaigning as well as promote youth active citizenship for peaceful elections.

He said WANEP would focus on engaging stakeholders to be able to identify early warning signs of political violence and election related violence and how they could contribute to reducing such incidence to promote peace before, during and after the 2020 general elections.

Mr Justin Bayor, the Programmes Director, IPEG, noted that skills development training would be organized for political party youth, to equip them with employable skills to enable them engage in productive ventures.

He said because the youth were not engaged in profitable ventures, it was easy for politicians to use them to cause election related violence.

Mr Bayor indicated that about 180 young people affiliated to various political parties in the four regions would be given 15 months training in skills development and it was expected that they replicated that training to their colleagues for greater impact.

Mr Kassim Perez, the Executive Director, RUMNET, said the capacities of 128 political party communicators would be built to peacefully and constructively engage in political discourse and ethical campaigning while 240 core foot soldiers across the four regions would also be sensitized on the importance of peaceful elections.

Source: GNA

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