The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in collaboration with the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) has set in motion modalities for establishing Inter-Party Youth Platform (IPYP).
The IPYP seeks to bring youth leaders of various political parties and other youth movements together once every month to brainstorm and discuss national issues with one voice and in a-political manner.
The platform is to harness the resources and potential of the youth in policy-making as the proliferation of youth organisations makes it impossible to determine which group to consult in formulating and implementing development policies, Mr Ranford Gyampo, political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, said in Accra.
Speaking at the maiden meeting of Youth Leaders of political parties with representation in parliament as well as other minority political parties, Mr Gyampo said the current legitimacy deficit of the National Union of Ghana Students makes the establishment of IPYP imperative.
The IPYP is to be modeled along the Platform of General Secretaries and Policy Analyst under the IEA-Ghana Political Parties programme.
Mr Gyampo said the IPYP would also be used to improve the relevance and effectiveness of programmes, enhance the youth’s sense of ownership, and stimulate new creative, synergistic ideas from both adults and youth in programme development.
He said the IPYP also presents an opportunity to build the capacity of the youth in leadership…it will also foster friendship among the youth who had always been agents of violence in elections to ultimately promote peace before, during and after elections.
The IPYP is also to use the 11-point IEA-Youth Development Manual as fundamental tool for setting modalities for the non-partisanship youth platform.
The Youth Development manual focuses on; advocacy for joint youth issues and causes, serve as mediation and conciliation body, take lead role in conflict resolution, serve as trainer of trainees and act as a joint pressure group against obnoxious and iniquitous national policies and defend the poor, deprived, marginalised and disadvantaged.
The Manual also seeks to build in the youth the capacity to work with NUGS to re-focus on its role as the core leading organisation of the nation’s student instead of operating as splinter groups of political parties on campuses, work with Ghana Education Service for revival in the senior high schools of student in governance associations, clubs and the Voluntary Work Camps Associations.
Mr Theophelius Dowetin, West Africa Programme manager of International IDEA cautioned the youth against involvement in political violence as; “the same seasoned politicians who use them to achieve their political ambitions turn round to accuse them of being violent.
“You must learn your lessons as the youth have never achieved anything out of political violence, the beneficiaries are the paymasters”.
Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Executive Director, facilitated the maiden meeting attended by youth leaders from the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Convention Peoples Party, Great Consolidated Popular Party, United Reformed Party, EAGLE Party and the yet to be certified Progressive Peoples Party.
Youth leaders from All Peoples Party and Sierra Leone People’s Party from Sierra Leone also participated, as well as International IDEA Executive from Uganda. GNA