Age-related barriers in the formulation of development policies remain a scourge for the sustainable growth and development of Ghanaian youth, said Mr. Francis Takyi-Koranteng, Upper East Regional Director, National Youth Authority ( DOES NOT HAVE).
“Young people continue to report age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives, particularly with regard to equal access to education and vocational training, employment, participation politics, health and justice.
“And however you look at them, at the individual level, these age-related barriers have a profound impact on well-being and livelihoods, not just in youth, but also in old age. adult,” he said.
He said there was a need to create an egalitarian environment free from discrimination to improve young people’s chances of accessing interventions for their growth.
The Regional Director made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf during this year’s International Youth Day celebration in Bolgatanga, under the theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”.
It was organized by NYA in conjunction with the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council with financial support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and brought together youth groups from across the region.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census indicated that the youth i.e. 15-35 year olds make up about 36% of the total population and the majority age group in Ghana.
Mr. Takyi-Koranteng said that despite this, young people were the most marginalized and vulnerable who lacked equal opportunities that would enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the nation.
“Age biases prevent us from thinking and designing social policies and services that take an equitable life course approach for all ages, this means in other words the need for a playing field equal for all,” he added.
He said that for the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), swift action must be taken across all generations to ensure inclusive participation in development processes.
Mr. Jude Domisie, Program Analyst, UNFPA, explained that the world needs to invest strategically in youth to sustainably address the challenges facing youth growth and development.
He said education and employment issues should be at the center of the policy guidance of stakeholders to economically empower the youth for sustainable development and a better future.
This, coupled with access to accurate sexual and reproductive health education, would help reduce poverty and tackle inequality as well as unplanned pregnancies and maternal deaths, he said.
“We need to invest in young people for a better future, but if we don’t invest in young people, we will create instability in the future.”
Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Richard Anaba Salifu, Commander of Bolgatanga Municipal Police, advised the youths to focus on their education and build their careers.
He urged all young people to resist all temptations to be recruited to destabilize the country.