Accra, May 15, GNA – The Ministry of Youth and Sports would soon outdoor an initiative to effectively coordinate all youth-related activities undertaken by the various ministries in the country in an effort to enhance their impact.
According to Major (Dr) Mustapha Ahmed (Rtd), the Minister of Youth and Sports, issues of the youth cut across almost every sector of the nation and the respective sector ministries have programmes and activities in their annual budgets, which affect youth, as manifested in the priority areas outlined in the National Youth Policy.
These areas include Youth in Education and Skills Training (Ministry of Education), Youth and Employment (Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations), Youth in Agriculture (Ministry of Food and Agriculture), and Youth in Sports and Recreation (Ministry of Youth and Sports).
Speaking at the opening of a two-day Forum on Youth Sensitivity Analysis of 2015 Budget, organized by the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), he noted that, some of these ministries had the largest budgets, unlike the Youth and Sports Ministry and thus contributed significantly to the country’s overall youth development agenda.
Major Ahmed (Rtd) said the plethora of youth-related activities run by different ministries made it difficult to accurately determine how much of government’s budget went into youth development activities as this could not be judged solely on the allocations to the ministry of youth and sports.
An analysis by the YBF of budgets within the period of 2011 to 2015 had shown a steady decline in percentage terms of the budgetary allocations to the ministry of Youth and Sports from 0.58 percent in 2011 to 0.08 percent in 2015.
He however outlined some initiatives that had been catered for within the 2015 budget, some of which have already been done.
Among these were: the launch of the Implementation Plan of the National Youth Policy to ensure a scientific and systematic implementation of the priority areas of the policy and subsequent formation of regional and district youth committees to implement the plan in their respective jurisdictions, passage of the National Youth Law; the bill for which would soon be presented to cabinet for consideration following its withdrawal from the last parliament.
‘It is expected that by close of the year, the Bill will be passed into Law to give the necessary legal backing to our youth development efforts and provide a clear policy direction for youth development in Ghana,’ he stated.
Other initiatives include coordination of youth groups and organization to ensure coordination of activities, organization of National Training Camps for student cadets, in collaboration with the Ghana National Cadet Corps, organization of annual 21-day Voluntary Work Camps for youth to imbibe them with the spirit of voluntarism and facilitate community development.
Others are, the provision of skills training for about 2,250 youth at the eleven Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes nationwide and holding of the National Youth Achievers Award, to recognize and encourage young achievers throughout the country and to motivate others to attain excellence in their various fields of endeavour.
Maj. Ahmed (Rtd) encouraged participants to take active part in the implementation of these and other national programmes for their own empowerment and for overall national development.
Dr. Nana Akua Anyidoho, from the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), who chaired the forum, lauded the initiative, saying that, it was a good start and the beginning of taking a closer look at the budget and juxtaposing it against what government says it wants to do for young people.
She called for a more in-depth research and analysis of budget allocations for youth development activities, not only at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, but also at all other ministries and agencies that undertake youth related activities.
She also stressed the need for the ministry to come out with a report that will set out details on youth development interventions and allocations for their implementation and will give attention to the different categories of youth, such as by level of education, age and disabilities.
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