View Full Version : IEA calls for engagement of youth in policy formulation

27th January 2012, 03:50 PM
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Thursday called on governments, democratic stakeholders and political parties to engage the youth in policy formulation and in decision making right from the inception stage.

“We believe that the time has come to move away from an approach of tokenism to an approach that truly engages young people as full partners in the designing, implementations and evaluation of strategies and programme.

“The youth of this country must be involved in policy formulation, given the fact that Ghana has a relatively youthful population, they cannot be ignored in the decision making process,” Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Executive Director stated in Accra.

The IEA Executive Director explained that despite the rhetoric describing the youth as the leaders of tomorrow, and the various programmes designed to ensure that they participate in governance, there seems to be no sustained programme to effectively engage the youth to utilize their full potentials in national development process.

Speaking at a forum for Youth Wing of Political Parties organized by IEA and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), Mrs Mensa expressed concern that a good number of young people continue to be manipulated to do the bidding of some political leadership.

“It is time for our young people to earn a place at the decision making table,” and called on youth of political parties to strive to do away with partisanship and fully utilize the platform – Inter Party Youth Committee (IPYC) to articulate practical strategies of addressing the many challenges confronting the country.

“It is our hope that this platform will kick start a process of sustained inter-party engagement and dialogue for the benefit of our country…with collective voice, this platform will constitute a formidable constituency that no political regime can ignore,” Mrs Mensa stated.

Mr Theophelius Dowetin, West Africa Programmes Manager of International IDEA told the Ghana News Agency that worldwide opinion polls indicate strong public demand for both political freedom and equality that democracy provides and the social and economic benefits of development.

He said International IDEA is committed to promoting global policy discussions, knowledge and practical tools to strengthen political institutions.

Mr Dowetin noted that the Youth platform offers Ghanaian youth an opportunity to work together irrespective of their political ideology stressing that: “national policy development and fighting for greater participation in governance should be the unifying factor”.

The IPYC platform was attended by youth leaders from the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Convention Peoples Party, Great Consolidated Popular Party, URP EAGLE Party and the yet to be certified Progressive Peoples Party.

Youth leaders from All Peoples Party and Sierra Leone People’s Party from Sierra Leone also participated as well as International IDEA Executive from Uganda.

The IPYC platform seeks to harness the capacity for policy dialogue, ensure a peaceful and cordial intra-party and inter-party youth relations as well as provide the opportunity to constructively engage and dialogue on key policy issues. GNA