The Youth Parliament; a mock representation of Ghana’s Parliament has been inaugurated in Bongo to facilitate the mobilisation of the youth in the area to share ideas on governance and the development of the District.
Other critical areas the Youth Parliament seeks to address is to build sustainable relationship between youth groups and governance structures in the decision-making process and influence development outcomes, especially those that affect their development directly such as falling standards of education, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, security among others.
The maiden Parliament in Bongo elected Mr Edward Abesiwine Asekere, as its first Speaker.
Mr Abesiwine in his inaugural address said the concept of Youth Parliament was to encourage youth participation in the governance process, especially at the district level to enable them to have direct and open access to discussions with duty bearers.
According to the Speaker, the process was expected to further enhance access to information to enable the youth in the area to demand accountability and responsiveness from authorities, and called on the Executive and legislature arms of government to pass the Right to Information Bill as a matter of urgency.
He reminded members of the youth parliament that “the Bongo District was looking forward to maximising the brilliant ideas that will bring to bear on its development needs”, and urged them to debate issues taking into consideration the standing orders of the house to enable them to make informed and thought provoking contributions.
In a speech read on behalf of the Paramount Chief of the Bongo traditional area, Bonaba Baba Salifu Lemyaarum by Naba Anyanebah Akolgo Saabo II, the Paramount Chief said with proper guidance and directions, the youth would be in the forefront of national and community development.
He said the traditional council did not only enskin traditional leaders, but had the responsibility of promoting human development, especially among the youth, leading to character formation of mature personalities capable of playing active and responsible roles in their communities.
The Paramount Chief pledged his council’s support for the Youth Parliament to enable them to properly contribute their quota to the development of the traditional area.
Mr Mumuni Abdulai, the Bongo District Environmental Health Officer, said the district had made significant efforts by putting in place measures and policies that would ensure that the district was declared open defecation free (ODF) by September 2019.
He asked the youth Parliament to support the efforts of the department to ensure that the district achieved it to promote good sanitation and health among its people.
Mr Edward Bawa, the Member of Parliament for Bongo said the concept of Youth Parliament was a good one and urged the youth to make good use of such platforms because it was a great opportunity for them to learn more about the modules of how things were done in Ghana’s Parliament House in Accra.
He advised them to debate issues devoid of undermining opinions of one another and base their contributions on facts to ensure successful activities in the house.