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Regional News of Monday, 28 September 2015

Source: GNA

Second GaDangme Youth Forum held

The Second GaDangme Youth Forum was held in Accra at the weekend to brainstorm on strategies for development and empowerment of the GaDangme Youth.

The forum under the auspices of the GaDangme Council was on the theme: “Youth Development and Empowerment – The Essential Tool for the Preservation of GaDangme Heritage.”

Alhaji Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of Youth and Sports, in a speech read on his behalf said skilled young people with the entrepreneurial ability, self-esteem and confidence to manage their own projects would help the country’s economy to thrive.

He said youth participation is good for development co-operation which should be based on broad, national-level policy dialogue and strong capacity for all development actors.

“In addition, evidence shows that youth-led projects are more cost-effective than elder-led development projects,” he said.

He observed that development cooperation could, therefore, only benefit by involving young as leaders.

“However, several obstacles still prevent the young people’s potential for development to be fully harnessed.

“Too often, young people are seen as part of the problem, rather than a security threat when associated with the idea of armed youth gangs and social unrest.” he stated.

Alhaji Ahmed said institutional dialogue with young people often translates into inconclusive declarations of intent with no operational follow-up.

Besides, access to funding opportunities for youth initiated development projects remain one of the biggest obstacles.

He said existing funding schemes for civil society make large grants available that require a level of administrative capacity that small youth organisations often lack.

He noted that growing aid budgets and shrinking human resources in development agencies make the likelihood of small grant schemes for young people even more remote.

Alhaji Ahmed said traditional society have challenges such as chieftaincy and land conflicts, inadequate unemployment opportunities for the youth, access to education, lack of mentorship for the youth, excessive influence of foreign culture and lack of parental.

He said these conditions negatively hinder the development process of the youth and leave them bereft of the necessary empowerment of needed to equip them in their quest to play the stewardship role that is required.

The Minister gave the assurance that government is aware of these problems and would continue to work to find solutions.

Mr Ayikoi Otoo, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, cautioned that the Ga language is in danger of being lost because the youth do not see prominent GaDangmes around, speaking and protecting it.

He urged the youth to take mentorship training and career development very seriously, in order to secure a bright future for themselves.

He called on all GaDangme people to unite; “for in unity lies strength”.

Herbert Nii Akai Nettey, Interim Management Committee Chairman of the GaDangme Youth Forum, called for mentoring and entrepreneurship development for the GaDangme youth.

He said unity, collaboration and cooperation among the various GaDangme groups in Ghana and abroad is imperative and paramount to ensuring success in tackling the problems that they face.

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