The youth of Ghana have made a clarion call on government to demonstrate serious commitment in the implementation of policies and programmes towards youth empowerment in the country.
The teeming Ghanaian youth are worried that the government allocation of resources for youth development is increasingly reducing.
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer at YEFL Ghana, a non-profit making youth focused organization based in the northern region, Mr. Emmanuel Ndukwe has attributed the dwindling support for youth programmes in Ghana to the governments’ over reliance on donor and multilateral agencies to support youth driven initiatives.
On the contrary, he said the government should rather lead the charge and allocate more resources and not the other way round where Development Partners have to bring in the substantial resources needed for youth empowerment interventions.
“It will mean that even though you have a certain commitment, the commitment is not going to be too high. The government has to really be committed, [for instance the YouStart], we’re committing about one billion cedis and the government percentage of commitment is less than forty percent; so you’re leaving the private sector or the donor agencies to commit over sixty percent whilst you that have introduced your flagship project is doing less.
“There has to be that balance if you want donor support, NGO support, CSOs support; make a commitment that would also encourage them to commit because we are complementing each other as development partners. You don’t trade your responsibilities to us, that won’t be sustainable,” he stressed.
Mr. Emmanuel Ndukwe made these remarks in an interaction with Journalists in Tamale last Wednesday, November 1, 2023, during the commemoration of this year’s African Youth Day. The event was celebrated on the theme: “1Million Next Level is Knocking: Youth-led Movement that Transcends Borders”.
Meanwhile, the Technical Advisor for Youth Advocacy and Gender at YEFL Ghana, Abdul Ganiyu Alhassan, in a brief presentation pointed out some discrepancies in the allocation of resources and priorities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
He lamented that following the introduction of the 5% District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to address funding deficits to the National Youth Authority (NYA) for youth related services, the authority continues to allocate substantial funds exceeding four million Ghana cedis towards sports infrastructural development.
“The implication lies in the potential diversion of already scarce resources away from core youth-focused programs and initiatives” he stressed.
Mr. Abdul Ganiyu stated the approved budget of GH¢3,342,970,849.00 for the year 2022, as stated in the appropriation Act, was later amended by the Ministry of Finance in a letter dated March 29, 2022.
He alleged the Ministry instructed the Fund Administrator to base the distribution formula on an amount of GH¢2,387,410,261.00.
This reduction, as explained by the Ministry, was a response to fiscal measures endorsed by the cabinet to address the prevailing economic challenges the nation is currently battling with.
The group has therefore recommended that the Ministry of Youth and Sports should allocate a more substantial portion of the budget towards youth development programs and also increase the financial resources available for youth initiatives to enable the implementation of a wider range of impactful projects and programmes.
In addition, the government and its partners have been implored to work together to establish a reliable system for assessing youth program effectiveness, enabling adjustments based on real outcomes, and ensuring coordinated tracking of interventions.