The National Youth Authority has begun processes to review the country’s 8-year-old youth policy.
This follows concerns from some civil society and youth groups over the lack of a working youth policy that will mainstream young people and their views into decision-making at the national level.The National Youth Authority in a letter to YES-Ghana, a youth-focused NGO championing the campaign for a review of the document said it “has initiated processes for the review of the National Youth Policy which was launched in 2010.”
According to the NYA, the review is to “make the policy respond to current youth development dynamics and also reflect current regional and global issues and their impacts on the youth.”
Ghana’s population is made up of 60% youth and about 35% of the number is between the ages of 15 and 35.
The situation presents many benefits as well as challenges, with the most notable among them being high unemployment and a resultant urban poverty. Other challenges include high rural-urban migration.
While the government has indicated its preparedness to address some of these prevailing challenges, not much has been achieved, and this has been largely blamed on the lack of a working policy document that captures the needs of young people in the country, and plans to address such challenges and make the most out of the country’s large youth population.
The Chief Executive Officer of NYA, Emmanuel Asigri, in a recent interview likened Ghana’s lack of a working youth policy to an airplane without a pilot.
“The NYA presides over a frightening youth demographic in which more than 57 percent of Ghanaians are under 25 years, but we have an underwhelming national youth policy that is outdated and overrun by severe and global changes” he stated.
The Voices of Youth Coalition which is led by YES-Ghana, earlier this year petitioned President Akufo-Addo over the matter, expressing regret that there was very little attention being paid to the development of young people in the country.
“The Coalition recognizes government efforts towards youth employment, through initiatives such as National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan, Youth Employment Agency, Planting for Food and Jobs, Presidential Pitch, and the Nation Builders’ Corps. While these initiatives are well-intentioned, they operate in a policy vacuum, without clear direction, and with little multi-sectoral linkages. This makes it difficult to measure the contribution of these initiatives to the national development agenda. Evidently, these uncoordinated efforts have not achieved any meaningful results, almost midway through His Excellency’s tenure of office,” it said in the petition,” excepts of the petition read.
A Technical Committee for the review of the 2010 policy document has already been established with a task to identify and analyze the gaps existing in the document.
With the latest assurance from the National Youth Authority, it is expected that a final draft of the policy review will be ready before the end of 2018.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana