The Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA) has charged young people to be bold and speak up on critical issues affecting development of the country.
Mrs Theodora Williams Anti, the Executive Director of FOSDA, who gave the advice said that was the only way the young could influence policy decisions and promote national development.
Mrs Anti said this at the opening of a two-day training workshop for some 30 youth influencers in Accra on Tuesday.
Dubbed the “Youth Policy Influence Training Workshop,” the training sought to empower young people to enable them to actively participate in social issues and influence policy decisions.
Discussions at the workshop are expected to focus on a wide range of issues, including governance and decision making, climate change and security.
It is being organised by FOSDA with funding from Oxfam.
Mrs Anti said Ghana stood to lose greatly if young people continued to keep silent on issues of national concern such as corruption.
She said: “We want a Ghana where young people will not be trooping outside, we want a Ghana where people feel secured and safe. And we want a Ghana where even despite the global turmoil, global economic challenges, people are cushioned a bit. And with this Ghana, we can only have it when we have strong voices.”
She added that: “We urge young people to rise up to speak. We see the ills in our economy, we see the corruption going on everyday and all we say is hmm! hmm! That would not change anything.
“So we need young people to make their voices heard. We need young people to speak up and cause changes that will bring Ghana to where we want it to be.
“We believe that if young people are supported to lead this citizens’ voices we will see the needed change we want to see,” she said.
Mr Nelson Owusu-Ansah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), commended FOSDA and Oxfam for the initiative.
He noted that training to sharpen the policy advocacy and influencing skills of young Ghanaians was crucial today, considering the challenges facing the country.
The NYA, in August this year, launched a 10-year National Youth Policy to guide the development and empowerment of the youth in Ghana for national development.
Mr Owusu-Ansah urged the youth and other stakeholders to take a look at the youth policy and help the NYA implement it.
Mr Wumbei Dokumsu, Programmes Officer, Oxfam, said it was time youth groups and stakeholders demanded for a fair share of national budget to help create employment opportunities for the youth in the country.