The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), has launched the "Youth Speaks Forum", an initiative aimed at stimulating the interest of Ghanaian youth in national politics and governance processes.
A statement issued by CDD-Ghana, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, said it was under the theme: 'Engendering National and Local Level Conversations on Youth Issues ahead of Ghana's 2020 Elections'.
The Youth Speaks Forums seek to promote dialogue between political actors and the youth, and serve as a platform on which the youth can provide critical feedback on political parties' policies and programmes towards their development.
Expressing concern over the low level of political and civic participation among the youth, Madam Regina Oforiwa Amanfo, Senior Programmes Officer at CDD-Ghana, said the Forums were, therefore, in line with the Centre's continual advocacy for the inclusion and effective engagement of the youth in governance processes.
"Ghana's youthful population can be an asset for the nation if the enormous abilities and intellect of the youth are channelled towards national development," she said.
"Unfortunately, the youth have very limited opportunities to engage in governance processes beyond the exercise of their franchise.
" The statement said debuting in the Northern Region, the Youth Speaks Forums would be held in the capital towns of all the 16 Regions of Ghana and be aired live on radio between July 7 and August 24.
It said at the Forums, various political parties would highlight the policies and programmes for youth development as outlined in their manifestos, after which the youth would have the opportunity to interrogate these policies and highlight what they considered to be the most important issues that the political parties should pay attention to.
The Youth Speaks Forums form part of CDD-Ghana's "Electoral Support Project", funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID-Ghana).
With a mission to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance, and inclusive growth and development, the statement said CDD-Ghana worked to support and promote a free, peaceful, and a well-governed democracy in Ghana and in other parts of Africa.
The Centre had, over two decades of built an expansive reach and a robust network of partners at the national, continental and global levels.
"CDD-Ghana has cultivated an enduring reputation as a leader in the field of democracy and governance, which enables the adoption and implementation of targeted strategies, aimed at addressing the fundamental issues hindering citizens from enjoying the full benefits democracy and good governance has to offer".
The Youth Bridge Foundation is a youth-oriented non-governmental organization working to equitably harness the potentials of the youth by equipping them with appropriate capacity, platforms and resources that would enhance their socio-economic and mental well-being, and to advocate for inclusion and responsiveness to youth development needs and rights by those responsible for upholding such rights.