An academic, Prof. David Millar has charged the youth in the Northern Region to channel their energies into developing their communities.
Prof. Millar, who is the director of the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies said the youth must take a keen interest in projects in their communities, monitor their development and demand accountability from duty bearers.
“We have a very vibrant youth with inbuilt energies misplaced and spent wrongly. They can fight the right and fight the wrong. So we need to mobilize the youth to fight for development,” he stated.
Delivering a keynote address at the launch of the fourth phase of Empowerment for life Ghana program (E4L) by Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) and Youth Empowerment for Life, Ghana, (YEfL-Ghana) on the theme, “Increasing Civil Society Action for Equity and Sustainable Development in Ghana,” Professor Millar expressed concern about the top-down transfer of orders to district assemblies which according to him is defeating the decentralization concept.
“The implementation of programs comes as a surprise, you are not aware and all of a sudden you see someone come with a letter that he is to deliver one product or the other and because of that style you can’t even monitor or check what they are doing and it deprives the community of monitoring to ensure value for money,” he noted.
Professor Millar added that, the top-down approach contributes to underdevelopment and undermines the rights of people at the grassroots.
He called for a change in policy to allow for inclusive decision making to enable equitable and sustainable development for all.
The launch of the fourth phase of the Empowerment for life program (E4L) will focus on equity and sustainable development.
Speaking in an interview, the Executive Director for GDCA, Alhaji Abdel-Rahman Osman, said this phase is aimed at addressing the wide margin of inequalities in the Northern Region.
“We have seen that a lot of progress has been made in development but there are still issues of inequality between the north and the south in terms of some development indicators. So the program will focus on three thematic areas including Education, food security and livelihood and governance,” he said.
He further noted that the program will offer people at the grassroots opportunities to speak out, monitor and demand accountability to promote development.
The E4L program is a four-year program which is being implemented in partnership with GDCA and YEfL Ghana with, funding from DANIDA.
It will be implemented in four districts in the northern region.