Youth is not a problem to be managed – Prof Manuh

Accra- Professor Takyiwaah Manuh, Former Director, Social Development Policy Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa, has stated that the youth should not be seen as a problem in the country but must be empowered to contribute to its development.

She said the notion by leaders that the youth was a problem to be managed was wrong.

Professor Manuh said the youth must be seen as a national asset, and that, they only had to be supported to enable them to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.

Professor Manuh was speaking at the 15th ‘Kronti ne Akwamu’ lecture organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in Accra.

It was organised under the theme Gender and youth in Ghana’s Democracy Consolidation, and supported by the German Cooperation, Stanbic Bank and Global Affairs, Canada, among others.

Professor Manuh said there had been an unprecedented rural-urban migration because the youth had not been empowered economically.

She said the youth were faced with limited career, low education or over education, which compounded the unemployment situation among them.

Professor Manuh said all these were as a result of inequalities, saying that, the unemployment rate of the youth was twice that of the adults.

She observed that these had landed most of them into the informal sector and were engaged in driving taxis, barbering, hairdressing, petty trading and into the creative art industry for survival, among others.

Professor Manuh said their lives can be made better if the informal sector was improved as well as labour conditions, such as the provision of accommodation.

On gender, she noted that there were disparities between men and women, with women being disadvantaged.

Unless all were consolidated, Ghana’s democracy would not be complete’, adding that, the quest of the country to include all and leaving none behind, had to be relooked at, with the roles of both gender and the youth played in the process.

Professor Manuh said Ghana, one of the countries that had signed unto a lot of international treaties including the UN’s SDGs was expected to achieve gender equality by 2030, whereby both male and female should be offered the same opportunity in their communities.

She said Ghana needed to step-back and access gender and youth in its democratic process if it was to deepen and achieve the agenda 2030.

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-Ghana said the annual Kronti ne Akwamu lecture on democracy and governance was to bridge the gap between reflection, research and analysis as well as prodemocracy and good governance advocacy.

The aim is to enrich the quality of public discourse on democracy and governance reforms, he noted.

He said prominent scholars or activists of local and international repute, whose work focuses on democracy building and fostering good governance are among the lecturers.

They would share knowledge and insights on these issues in the hope of stimulating vibrant public debate, Professor Prempeh said.

Dr Kojo Yankah, Founder and Past President of the Africa University College of Communications said men also had a critical role to play in gender issues, the African Union should be championing the 2063 agenda of the SDG as well as emulate the examples of some countries in advancing the development of women and the youth.

Source: Ghana News Agency