Actively involve the youth in decision-making – New Juaben MCE
Star Ghana Foundation Team in group picture with selected grant partners
The Municipal Chief Executive of the New Juaben Municipality (MCE), Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi has charged the Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to actively involve the youth in the decision-making process of the assembly.
According to him, it was essential for the assemblies to engage community members in the assemblies, especially the youth to allow them to have a say in shaping the future of their communities.
“Such community engagements would ensure that the ideas and opinions of residents are valued and that decisions are made in their best interest,” he stated, adding the youth were the heartbeat of the assemblies’ future and must be included in governance.
Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi made this statement at an inception meeting and training workshop organised by Star-Ghana Foundation with funding from the Botnor Foundation, to train four civil society organisations and youth groups who were selected to become grant partners in a project called “Our City Project” initiated by Star-Ghana.
The project which was part of a three-year programme dubbed “Action for the Youth Development” (AfYD) launched in April, 2023, would contribute to strengthening an enabling environment for youth inclusion and influence in governance as well as enable the youth to have access to quality public goods and services within the Koforidua city in the New Juaben Municipality.
The New Juaben Municipality was rated by the District league Table (DLT 2020) as one of the 10 least performing districts on governance with poor implementation of action plan for development and limited inclusion of the youth, hence was chosen for the project to enable them identify challenges and perform better.
The grant partners, including Divine Mother and Child Foundation, Bebia Be Ye Fine, Anchito Foundation for Education and Selfhelp and Youth Parliament were therefore selected as grant partners to be trained to build their capacity in monitoring and evaluation, safeguarding, gender and social inclusion among others to enable them to help in successful implementation of the project.
Mr Appaw-Gyasi stated that the youth’s active involvement in the activities of the assembly was not only desirable but essential, stating the need for the youth to develop interest in the assemblies programmes for enhanced service delivery across the sector.
“We have situations where the youth of the municipality do not show interest in what we do as an assembly with most of them staying aloof and would watch us from a distance to implement our programmes instead of being part of it,” he lamented.
He said that attitude does not augur well for development and encouraged them to bring their input in planning and budgetary engagements to ensure that programmes cater for community needs.
He said the training of the grant partners was apt and their involvement as stakeholders, by seeking their valuable expertise, opinions and ideas regarding the initiatives and ideal location for such projects, would ensure that project aligned with needs and aspirations of the people.
For her part, the Project Director for the AfYD, Dr Enerstina Tetteh said as part of the project, Star-Ghana Foundation engaged the National Youth Authority and planning officers of the Assembly to identify youth groups and later asked the groups to submit an expression of interest for the project, adding that the groups have been selected to enable the Foundation to engage them in a project development workshops.
“A bigger part of the grant goes to partners within the project site to implement project coming from them and we are having this workshop to enable the grant partners explain how they would implement their project as part of the Our City Project.”
She said a team of experts have helped the grant partners to shape their ideas into full proposals and added that the workshop would enable them to present the proposals to duty bearers to enable them craft their development to align with the initiatives of the young people in the assembly.
From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua