Per a recommendation of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998), the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 54/120 declared August 12 as International Youth Day to bring awareness and attention to issues which confront Youths globally and to focus energies of various bodies, governments and societies on addressing such issues.
The Universal definition of youth classifies youths as all persons between the ages of 15 and 24 while the bracket extends to as high as the age of 35 in some countries. But whether as young as 15, 24 or as old as 35; youths globally are faced with similar daunting challenges today. Key among these challenges are education, employment, poverty, deprivation, marginalization from decision making among many other such challenges.
Today being International Youth Day, the New Patriotic Party Youth Wing would like to focus the national discourse in Ghana on these very pressing challenges which are particularly pronounced for the Ghanaian youth and seek immediate radical action to bring solutions to these problems.
For the Ghanaian Youth, the issues of education, employment and poverty are perhaps the biggest concerns. From North to South, East to West, Ghanaian Youths desire quality and inclusive education which would equip them with the skills needed to find decent jobs and to build a decent life. Ghanaian Youths want to enjoy what earlier Ghanaian generations enjoyed as they went through with their education – an educational system comparable to best standards globally, with the necessary facilities and one in which money acted as no barrier or decider of fates concerning who could be educated and who could not.
On employment, the Ghanaian Youth of today lives in truly difficult and unprecedented days. For the first time in our history, the scourge of unemployment affecting mainly the youths of Ghana has grown so sharp that we are faced with an imminent national crisis if appropriate, drastic and immediate steps are not taken to address the situation at hand.
While employment in the public sector has virtually been frozen for the better part of the last 3 years, private sector growth in key labor intensive sectors have stalled or in some instances shrunk limiting the ability of the private sector to engage young brains and hands who have the energies and the right to a decent job. At the same time, the state has failed miserably to support the entrepreneurial and innovative spirits of the youth to create their own jobs and make a decent life.
It should be obvious for all well meaning citizens that the Ghanaian Youth cannot tolerate the current situation much longer and that is why the New Patriotic Party Youth Wing wishes to sound this immediate call to all engaged in the National discourse to as a matter of urgency find solutions especially to the many problems affecting the educational sector and also to the unemployment scourge ravaging the nation. Above all, we also call for inclusiveness in the decision making processes that ultimately lead to actions, be it in organizations or government.
It is time answers are found and time to end the unnecessary cheap politicking with issues confronting the youth for mere vote winning schemes especially as we approach the December General Elections.
In ending, the NPP Youth Wing wishes to call on Ghanaian Youths to remain steadfast in these challenging times. We further call on all of us to keep our minds on the core issues that affect us as a demographic and to keep pressure on elected officials and purse keepers to deliver to us what is deserved. As we approach the General elections, we also call for a proper interrogation of the issues and the solutions that would rapidly end our miseries and we of the NPP are of no doubt our Presidential Ticket of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as well as their solutions and commitment to the course of the youth would stand tall in the competition of ideas which would ensue.