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‘Engage Young People in Decision-Making Processes at All Levels of Governance’-African Leaders Urged

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Report By: Ishmael Barfi


African leaders have been called upon to allow young people to participate in decision-making processes at all levels of governance to address the numerous challenges facing young people on the continent.

The call by the Executive Coordinator of the Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND-Ghana) Chibeze Ezekiel is to ensure that young people are not short-changed in participation in the governance processes of their receptive countries.

This Chibeze Ezekiel believed his hampering the process of African youth contributing meaningfully to the development and growth of their respective countries.

The Executive Coordinator for Strategic Youth Network for Development-Ghana, Chibeze Ezekiel made the passionate call to the just-ended African Youth Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance held on 2nd to 4th May 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

Executive Coordinator, SYND Chibeze Ezekiel

According to him, every country in Africa has policies that speak of youth participation in decision-making processes however the number and level of engagement of young people on the African continent is worrying and disrupting the efforts to achieve numerous international policies and agreements that seek to enhance the development and well-being of the African youth.

This means that they are being shortchanged or they are not getting involved in a process and to say, we are not fighting for something that does not exist, but there is a reference point in our national policy, that says that it is important to involve young people,” he reiterated.

To him, this becomes the youth’s first entry point that African governments need to fuse youth participation in all its works that what they are saying as young people is get them involved, Let us share our view”.

“Let’s share opinions on how you sell oil money, on how you sell gold money. So these are the conversation going on, how to explore ideas and the need to create an awareness or working among the youth that we also have a role to play, which have been written in our country’s national youth policy”

Speaking on the 3-day conference, Chibeze Ezekiel indicated that it is to take stock of the numerous strategies, ideas, and activities of young people in Africa in the fight against climate change.

Deputy Executive Coordinator Solomon Yamoah in a tet chat with one of the dignitaries

“And based on the interest level of young people in other African countries, we choose to have the African Youth Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance this year because if you look within the African continent, we have the majority of the world’s resources. Therefore, it’s important to see how young people can also participate in managing our natural resources. After all, these are the resources that list the development of our countries or our continent. So it’s about how can the youth be involved in the governance of natural resources,” he explained.

Furthermore “To see if we’re making progress or not. Because you have one policy, which is to address climate change through planting trees and you have a different strategy, policy, or law that talks about community mining, tree felling, and all that and these have become a problem as a country, there is lack of coordination”.

To address these, the SYND-Ghana Executive Coordinator revealed that “so next year, we are hoping that we also going to make our voices heard, we are going to put our demand on paper that, these are the things we want to see in our embassies, we’re clearly to articulate and present it that as young people so we can also track and participate in the implementation of these”.

‘Engage Young People in Decision-Making Processes at All Levels of Governance’-African Leaders Urged

He noted that, after the conference, a communique or an outcome document would issued to portray the views and ideas of young people as well as showcase what young people are doing so others can also learn collaborate, and partner in realistic and lasting solutions.

“As you all heard in the morning session, all the targets we have, the Agenda 2030 and 2050, we are the ones who are going to lead so it is important for us to get involved now to ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of our current leaders”, he asserted.





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