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Opinions of Sunday, 14 February 2010

Columnist: Adjei-Gyamfi, Godwin

Is The NDC Really A Party For The Youth?

The NDC’s manifesto made a clear vision to steer Ghana towards a better nation through a focus on youth care, development and employment.

A year in government their manifesto continues to remain mere words and wishful thinking.

Nowadays, Ghanaian youths face many problems ranging from participation in political violence, armed robbery, drug addition and alcohol abuse to lack of employment. Their problems have further worsened due to lack of structural programmes to improve their conditions and an increase in a large number of our youths roaming the streets of our cities and towns with nothing to do.

The NDC deceptively made youths of our country believe and buy into their so called “better Ghana” agenda which has turned out to be nothing but a cliché empty on content, substance, depth and delivery.

The vast majority of the youths in Ghana are dejected and without hope and a sense of direction. The NDC government, barely over one year in government has reduced our youths to shamefully scrambling for ownership and control of public toilets, markets places and resorting to “Sakawa”, get rich quick at any cost or adopting a die trying attitude to make ends meet.

We should not be surprised or dismayed at the NDC’s lack of policies to help the youths in Ghana. This is because historically, the party has never been able to master the handling of youth problems in Ghana. For example the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) introduced by its predecessors the PNDC government was abandoned because it failed to address the needs of our youths. As a matter of fact the current NDC government continues to struggle with tens of thousand of registered unemployed youths across the country despite the president promising to put money in the pocked of our youth during his election campaign in the north.

The NDC government has abandoned its election commitment to the youth of Ghana, they have failed to initiate, restructure or continue with major youth policies and program (NYEP) initiated by the NPP government led by former president John Agyekum Kufuor.

It is very worrying that some of these youth oriented programs by the Kufuor administration had either been grossly neglected or mismanaged to the detriment of the future progress of our youth.

It is sad and worrisome to note that the NYEP, initiated by the NPP to engage the services of the youth and garner their energy to develop our nation has been politicized by the NDC, with admission into the program now being purely based on political allegiance. So much for prof. Mills Solemn declaration to be a “father for all”.

The youth wing of the NPP UK and Ireland is making the following suggestions to President Mills:

1. The NYEP scheme which has operated for years; in our opinion should be depoliticized and positioned as a major mobilization tool for youth development and to contribute to nation building.

2. To do away with party politics and put the youth in Ghana at the centre of steering Ghana to a better nation by working with and adopting the NPP 2008 manifesto for youth development which advocates for leadership, entrepreneurship, a can do attitude and healthy living.

3. To lift the freeze on public sector employment so that our young graduates who are sitting at home can be employed and the knowledge and skills acquired be used for the benefit of the nation.

After all, the youth of our nation are the trustees of posterity.

G. Adjei-Gyamfi

NPP UK & Ireland Deputy Youth Organizer 07956584742