WiLDAF: Presidential age reduction will deepen inclusive democratic governance

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), has advocated the reduction of the presidential age to promote youth participation and inclusive democratic governance.

It explained that the youth formed almost half of country’s population, it was imperative for them to be well represented at decision making processes to articulate concerns and find solutions to improving wellbeing.

“Reducing the age of the presidency from its current 40 years as the lowest age to 35 or 30 years will open opportunities for the youth who have the resources and willing to participate in governance issues to deepen the democratic credentials of the country,” WiLDAF stressed.

Frank Bodza, the Programmes Manager in charge of Democratic Governance at WiLDAF, advocated on sidelines of capacity training programme on African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) for civil society organisations (CSOs) in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

It was organised by Action Aid Ghana, a non-profit organisation, on the theme: ‘Mobilising civil society support for implementation of the African Governance Architecture’, with funding from European Commission.

ACDEG, promulgated and adopted in 2007, by member states of African Union (AU), road map set out international standards on good governance and democracy on African continent.

Mr Bodza indicated that “the nation ratified the charter, but recommendations and agreed principles in consonance with 1992 Constitution not fully implemented to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“There is the need to institute, enforce policies, programmes geared at promoting youth participation in governance system and creating opportunities for vulnerable including women and persons with disabilities to be part of governance processes.

“We recommend appointments of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives and other higher levels of decision making should involve youth, persons with disabilities and women to ensure effective and efficient participation in democratic governance.

“In the fourth republic, we have not achieved 30 per cent of women appointments into public offices as stipulated by the SDGs agenda, 124 ministers, only 23 are women, representing 18.6 per cent, in parliament only 38 out of 275 Members of Parliament are women, representing 13.1 per cent, passage of Affirmative Action Bill, other gender parity initiatives be implemented to achieve SDGs on gender equality and balance.

Yakubu Akuka, the Programmes Officer, Action Aid Ghana, said the programme was to build capacities of CSOs towards implementation of the charter. -GNA

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