Report by: Ishmael Barfi
The use of technology according to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA) Mr. Nelson Owusu-Ansah is an essential tool in enhancing the development and wellbeing of the Ghanaian youth.
To him, technology has given young people bigger and stronger voices as well as platform to participate, discuss issues of national interest towards their development and wellbeing irrespective of their location.
Adding that, technology is a powerful tool that influences our day to day activities as an individual, hence the need to use it wisely and profitably to improve life.
Mr. Nelson-Owusu Ansah made these remarks at the opening ceremony of a two-day Youth Policy Influencing Training Workshop held in Accra on the 16th-18th October,2022.
The Youth influencing Training Workshop organized by Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA) with support from Oxfam aimed at training young people in the use of technology to start a positive cause or agenda as well as discussion that will influence decision-making in all aspect of life that relates to development and wellbeing of young people of Ghana.
The Youth Influencing Training brought together forty young people selected from the sixteen regions with equal representation of males and females as well as inclusion of young people with disability.
Commending the organizers, FOSDA & Oxfam for organizing this very important training for the youth, he indicated that, a training that sharpens the policy advocacy and influencing skills of young Ghanaians is critical today.
Such training workshops he noted gives young people the right skills and knowledge to use hence gives them a sense of inclusiveness, belongingness and also a channel to voice out their challenges and difficulties.
“ We are in a time when more Ghanaian youth are getting education, We are also in a time of when there are more spaces for youth participation and inclusion”, he reiterated.
Though admitting that, we are in difficult times as presented by the President of the Republic in his last state of the Nation Address, he said, “we are in the era of technology which gives us a bigger and stronger voice as people and individuals”.
Mr.Nelson Owusu-Ansah also acknowledged that, “fortunately or unfortunately this is a very good tool like any other that has both negative and positive sides”.
Therefore stressed on the importance of ensuring and directing the youth to use technology and opportunities positively for both personal and national development.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority used the occasion to urged the youth of Ghana and all other stakeholders to take a look at the Youth Policy and support the NYA to implement it to champion the development and wellbeing of the ordinary Ghanaian young person.
The launch of the National Youth Policy by NYA he explained is to guide the development and empowerment of the youth in Ghana for national development.
“Objective 4 of the Youth policy is focused on youth participation, Governance and decision making, therefore this training is not out of place because this will harness the skills and knowledge of young people to explore technology to voice out, champion a cause that will advocate the ideas, thoughts, frustrations as well as solutions that will collectively help in shaping the future of young people of Ghana, hence influencing decision-making.
On her part, the Executive Director of FOSDA, Mrs. Theodora Anti explained that, the training is to inform and give the young people the requisite skills and tools to advocate on issues relating to their development.
Citing the launch of the National Youth Policy, Mrs. Anti reiterated the Youth Influencing Training Workshop is relevant and key in its implementation.
“The National Youth Policy, and its implementation is what young people should be advocating for because that’s a policy that can help develop young people and can help bridge the gap when it comes to young people and their development and their needs.
Adding “that’s one of the key areas we should also be looking at that we advocate for the policy to be implemented to the latter”.
This hopefully she said will bring some relief to young people and create opportunities for young people in the country
FOSDA, she noted wants a Ghana with opportunities, a Ghana where young people will not be trooping outside, a Ghana where young people feel secured and safe.
And to have a Ghana with all this, she acclaimed that, “we can only have it when we have strong voices. So we urge young people to rise up really young people to speak to the ills in our economy”.
“So we need young people especially because today and tomorrow is for them. We need young people to rise up. We need young people to speak up and cause changes that will bring Ghana to where we want it to be.
Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) is a human security focused organization that works to minimize and mitigate the drivers of human security such as poverty, youth unemployment, inequality, gender inequality, bad governance through advocacy, research, policy influencing, capacity building of marginalized groups such as women and youth.
Oxfam Ghana seeks to reduce poverty and inequality, especially between women and men by supporting influencing and advocacy in three areas of intervention; Agriculture, Essential Services and Extractive Industry Governance.