The National Youth Authority Division of the Public Services Workers’ Union (PSWU of Ghana Trades Union Congress) commends government in all her initiatives to meet the aspirations and overall developmental needs of the Ghanaian youth.
Union, thus, appreciates the economic empowerment dimensions of the government such as Youth Enterprise Support (YES Fund); the Youth Employment Agency (YEA); etc, amongst other analogous facilities like the Micro and Small Loans Credit (MASLOC).
Union further acknowledges the government’s investment in the youth development landscape through the National Youth Policy, as well as the National Youth Policy Implementation Plan (NYPIP), which was launched early January this year, 2015.
Union, however, regrets the seemingly inadequate resourcing of the National Youth Authority (NYA), which the National Youth Policy Article 10.0 – Implementation Mechanisms – mandate the NYA to “facilitate and institute stakeholders forum that will play an active role with all identifiable youth groups at national, regional and district levels in the implementation of the National Youth Policy,” which provides a framework for collective action and coordination of strategies for youth development among government institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and youth organizations as well as other stakeholders for youth empowerment.
Union further bemoans the place of the NYA under the Ministry of Youth & Sports structure; this is because empirical evidences and current circumstantial manifestations indicate that focus of attention in the Ministry’s resource allocations have always skewed in favour of sports (particular football). This persistent approach undermines the NYA’s ability to deliver on sub-section 10.2 of Article 10.0 of the National Youth Policy: “The Ministry responsible for youth development will oversee the coordination, implementation, monitoring, and review of the National Youth Policy,” [and] “this shall be done through the National Youth Authority with the active participation of the youth and in collaboration with ministries, departments and agencies …”
Union, furthermore, feels devastated the state of the NYA’s eleven Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes, which are facing infrastructural, logistics and grant challenges to the meet the purposes that undergirded their establishment. Equally, Union is also worried about the unavailability of space to the NYA as a public institution to enable 72 district secretariats (out of the current 216 administrative districts) to diligently perform grassroots core functions, inter-alia, to:
Mobilize and organize the youth for participation in governance, economic, social and cultural activities;
Promote and inculcate in the youth a sense of patriotism, volunteerism, and nationalism; and
Provide a platform for youth development activities.
Union, therefore, calls for:
1. An unbridled resourcing to enable effective coordination of sector policies on youth development per the establishment of youth desks in the respective Ministries, Department and Agencies (MMDAs), as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) with functional reportage-relationship with the NYA;
2. Re-constitution of the Board of Trustees which should be made up of resourceful personalities with requisite and deep knowledge and experience in youth development as well as have propensity for achieving, and who are prepared to go beyond government largesse to rake in private and third sector support and/or investments to the work of NYA; and
3. Placement of the National Youth Authority under an office of the Presidency as an imperative manifestation of government’s commitment to youth development (and as a ‘carpet’ machinery through which allied hybrid youth development frameworks could be churned out).
Union, consequently, pledges continuous readiness to work assiduously, as before, to achieving government’s youth development policies, plans, programmes and projects.
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