Some selected youth in the Northern Region have marked the African Youth Day (AYD) denouncing acts of corruption and calling on government to strengthen institutions to fight the canker in society.
The youth, who held a mock parliamentary session in Tamale on Thursday as part of activities to mark the AYD, argued that corruption was the bane of the country’s development resulting in limited opportunities for them, hence the need to stop the canker.
The AYD, marked on November 01 every year, is a day set aside by the African Union Commission to promote the increased recognition of youth as key agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development in all areas of African society.
This year’s AYD held on the theme: “Raising Youth Voices Against Corruption in Africa”, was organized in Tamale by the Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL), a non-governmental organization, with support from STAR Ghana and the Empowerment for Life Programme.
Madam Jawol Vera Magan, Director of YEfL, called for the engagement of the youth in efforts at curbing corruption as they were generally more open to social change and political transformation.
Madam Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, who delivered a keynote address during the event, said “It is crucial that the youth speak up if Ghana is to make an end to corruption. It is with the youth that the future lies and it is from the youth that change will come”.
Danish Ambassador said “As Ghana is aspiring for structural transformation of her economy and the creating of many new jobs for her youth, it is crucial to work towards promoting and enhancing an environment where private sector actors can operate free of corruption and with a public sector that provides the conducive framework conditions needed to propel the private sector as the growth engine of the Ghanaian economy”.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, spoke about the effects of corruption on society and the need for all to commit to stop corrupt practices, saying government had put in place measures to help curb the canker in society.
Mr Emmanuel Bedzra, Member of Parliament for Ho West, called on the youth to rise up and demand an end to corruption in the country because it retarded national development.
Mr Bedzra also called on the youth to seek clarity from district assemblies about the fairness of their procurement practices to enhance transparency.
Mr Alhassan Suhuyini, Member of Parliament for Tamale North, observed that even though the government allocated huge sums of money in the budget for state anti-corruption institutions, the real amount released to such bodies was far lower than budgeted, a situation, which was making it difficult for such bodies to function effectively.
Mr Suhuyini urged the citizenry to join hands to raise their voices against corruption to kick-out the canker from society.
Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association, commended the youth for raising their voices against corruption, saying such acts by the youth were necessary to influence government policy for the better.