Some Stakeholders have urged political party leaders to leverage the Youth Manifesto in drafting their manifestoes for the 2024 general elections.
A staggering 60% of young people surveyed want the next government to focus on creating jobs, a dramatic shift from the 2020 Youth Manifesto where employment only ranked second. Education and access to loans follow as key concerns.
Senior Programmes Officer of the Foundation for Development and Security in Africa, Solomon Okai, provided insights into the 2024 youth Manifesto.
“The priority areas identified were employment, sixty per cent of the respondents wanted the government to focus on employment and 58% wanted the government to focus on scale development and education. The third priority was on governance, and 47% of respondents and 25% on health”.
“So we tried to compare it to a 2020 Youth manifesto and we realized that there’s been a change in terms of the priorities young people are looking out for. In 2020, we had skills development topping the list then followed by employment and governance. But this time around, we have employment topping the list followed by skills development and then governance,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority Pius Enam Hadzide said the government is working tirelessly to address unemployment challenges.
“Youth unemployment is a major concern, not only for the young people of our country but also especially to His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, his running mate, Alhaji Mahamdu Bawumia, and the NPP, and it’s why several interventions have been rolled out to deal with the problem of unemployment. But you’ll admit that youth unemployment, resolving that challenge isn’t an event, it is going to be a process.”
He emphasized the vocational sectors such as YouStart as important to promote the country. “Without a doubt, the government is taking bold and decisive steps towards the resolution of Youth unemployment. The focus on technical and vocational education in the long term is to make the young people themselves able to create our commonwealth, to create jobs for themselves.”
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Citi FM/Citi TV and Host of the Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Avle, has rallied the youth to actively participate in issues concerning governance.
He advised the youth not to be a tool for Politicians but rather set their agenda for the politicians. He urged the Youth to understand the processes.
“Get involved, I voted a couple of days ago, in the local assembly election. You have to organize around what you believe in. So don’t just complain. Get into the assembly and get involved. Organize people around things that matter. So the manifesto that we’ve put out, is not just for the newspaper to cover it.
“Now you need to engage the local community to make sure people understand what our priorities are and each priority may not be the same for all local communities because all politics is local”.
Ghana Youth Manifesto is a Youth-led initiative that allows youth challenges, policy options, and proposals for solutions to issues affecting the well-being of young people in Ghana to be documented. This is not a new initiative in Ghana, however, much attention has not been given to it.