The Centre for Governance, Democracy, Leadership and Research (VOiCE) in collaboration with Accra Metropolitan Assembly have organized a one day summit on local governance under the theme, “establishing a more robust interface between the youth, local governance and urban planning”.
The summit brought together experts from the local government institutions, National Disaster Management Organization, the Engineering Council, Assembly and Unit Committee Members and other Community Based Organizations (CBOs) within the Ayawaso sub-metro.
The summit was aimed at bridging the gap between the local government and the youths of the Ayawaso Districts as well as bring the various local government bodies closer to foster inclusiveness and make the youth more informed about their activities and the holistic activities of the central Government so as to channel their demands appropriately and promote accountability.
Addressing participants at the summit, the President of VOiCE, Ahmed Mustapha Yaajalaal expressed his dissatisfaction with the youth being relegated to the background when it comes to decision making which he believes affect them more.
He called on policy makers to consider the youth as an integral part of decision making and involve them at anytime.
Municipal leaders he said regularly make decisions, shape policies and take action on issues that directly affect youth, yet, youth are the experts on their experiences, needs, and interactions with their local environments.
“If governments do not engage youth, well-intentioned programs and policies for youth are more likely to fail” he noted.
On his part, the deputy director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Mr. Daniel Kwaku Denteh, schooled the participants on disaster management.
He chided Ghanaians for the floods the country has experienced over the years and termed it as purely attitudinal and encouraged the youth to engage the organsation (NADMO) in propagating their activities.
He hinted that NADMO is moving away from being a disaster management to disaster prevention.
He assured the participants that NADMO will engage any individual who wants to complement the effort in disaster management and prevention.
The District Director for National Commission for Civic Education Mr. Sadick Zagoon called on the Assembly and Unit committee members present to lend the commission their support in selling their message since it is a collective responsibility.
Chief Gbangbana, the chief of Kotokoli community in Accra applauded the organizers for taking such a good initiative and encouraged the youth to organize more of such programmes. He suggested that the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana be made part of this laudable initiative.
The chairperson for the occasion, Hon. Gladys Tetteh, deputy director, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy in her closing remarks, charged the youth to continuously engage the opinion leaders in issues affecting them.
Story: Muhammed Faisal Mustapha