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Opinions of Sunday, 25 January 2015

Columnist: Ayamga, Elizabeth Alampae

My World Of Fantacies

I see a Ghana where there is free and compulsory basic education for all and steps taking to eliminate the indirect costs of education; where there are well developed long-term education policies and programmes, which are devoid of all political considerations, agreed upon by all stakeholders and all sides of the political divide, and entrenched in law; where gender equality within the educational system and girl child education is promoted; where multiple access points for education and skills development including opportunities outside of mainstream educational institutions, such as informal learning, lifelong learning, distance learning, e-learning, workplace skills development (on-the-job training), peer education, and national service programmes are readily available to all.

I see a Ghana where the national youth policy is integrated into a variety of sectors such as education, health and justice in order for there to be a significant impact on employment growth. This can be done through a multi-stakeholder consultative body or task force to forge a comprehensive youth employment policy to include the views and aims of multiple ministries and agencies; where the government Supports an integrated approach to self-employment, micro-enterprise and credit schemes, including the creation of incentives to agencies and private sector partners engaging in microenterprise development for youth, and formulating policies that support micro-credit and financing for youth enterprise, the promotion of partnerships of key stakeholders to manage these schemes, the development of youth-led associations for youth enterprise; and the identification of resources for operating and replicating successful micro-financing schemes.

I see a Ghana where platforms are created for including Ghanaian youth in the Diaspora in decision-making process in order to give them opportunities to express their views and expectations and a Ghana where structures are established to encourage and assist Ghanaian youth in the Diaspora to return and fully re-integrate into the social and economic life in Ghana.

In my Ghana, health facilities and services are available and accessible - both physically and economically - to all youth, without discrimination and they are provided with the knowledge and skills they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. The government ensures the full participation of youth in the development and promotion of health-related programmes and policies that enables them to become agents of change in the communities and positively affected their lives and those of their peers. More doctors, nurses and other health personnel, including qualified young people are trained and deployed to rural areas to provide care to enable young people also benefit from quality health care.

This is my Ghana where forced marriages and marriages below the age of 18 are prohibited and strategies designed to reduce early marriages among girls through economic empowerment programmes like skills training and business development. Here, laws that protect girls and young women from all forms of violence, genital mutilation, incest, rape, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking, prostitution and pornography are Strictly enforced. Yes, girls and young women are able to participate actively, equally and effectively with boys and young men at all levels of social, educational, economic, political, cultural, civic life and leaderships as well as scientific endeavours.

Now here I am in a Ghana where mechanisms are instituted to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue amongst young people that discourage their participation in acts of violence. Strengthening the capacity of young people and youth organisations in peace building, conflict prevention and conflict resolution through the promotion of intercultural learning, civic education, human rights education on issues such as mutual respect for cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, the importance of dialogue and cooperation, responsibility, solidarity and international cooperation.

This is my world of fantasy; My Ghana; The Voices of the Youth of Ghana screaming to be heard to make our fantasies a reality.

By: Elizabeth Alampae Ayamga