‘Formation of youth parliament to empower participation in decision-making’

The Speaker of the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament, Sumaila Shaibu, has observed that the formation of youth parliament across the country is to empower and build the capacities of the youth to participate actively in decision-making.

“Numerous demonstrations often embarked upon by the youth are as a result of lack of political space to participate effectively and efficiently in the decision making process in local governance structures. Youth Parliament concept would build capacities of youth who have ambition to become parliamentarians and reduce training cost of new parliamentarians.”

Mr Shaibu made the observation when he addressed the National Youth Authority’s (NYA) training of trainers’ workshop for selected youths in the Central Region with the aim of establishing youth parliament in all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) of the region.

The concept is an initiative of the NYA to provide formalised youth structure at the district, regional and national levels for the youth to air their frustrations, deliberate on youth development, hold duty bearers accountable and equip participants with modalities of the concept.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and participants, after training, are expected to train and mentor colleagues with the objectives of forming Youth Parliament.

According to Mr Shaibu, duty bearers would be summoned before the Youth Parliament to account for their stewardship in the House and that the concept would also serve as an advocacy tool for the youth to champion development agenda in their respective areas.

“Establishment of the Youth Parliament in the Upper West Region for instance, has created a platform to hold government functionaries accountable. Our efforts have led to the completion of certain government infrastructure that were abandoned and has compelled duty bearers and other heads of institutions to carry out responsibilities and tasks. The Youth Parliament concept will not only create room for youth involvement in the affairs of the nation but also help play significant roles in the attainment of sustainable development goals.

Emmanuel Martey, Regional Director of NYA, said the concept would create a platform for the youth to have their voices heard such that in situations where there was despondency, they would not resort to other untoward means. And the concept would go a long way to consolidate present and future democratic dispensation.

The participants expressed readiness to train, mentor colleagues to form parliaments to help strengthen accountability, probity, transparency and local governance for sustainable development. –GNA

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