The 2017 PeaceJam Ghana has been held with a call on government and other stakeholders to provide the youth in the country with enhanced education at all levels.

Mr Wisdom Addo, the Executive Director of the West Africa Centre for Peace Foundation (WACPF), organisers of the annual PeaceJam Ghana, who made the call said: “Good Education prepares one to impact positively on self and society, government must provide this and the youth must seek and desire to be educated at all level.”

WACPF is the official Ghana chapter of PeaceJam, United States of America, which is an international education programme that connects youth with Nobel Peace Laureates with the goal of creating a generation of young people committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world at large.

 Among the objectives of peaceJam are; promoting and propagating the teaching of peace and justice towards the development of youth, providing the youth with the necessary skills in peace building, leadership and non-violence as well engaging the youth in service to their communities around human rights.

 Addressing about 380 Junior and Senior High School students form the Greater Accra, Eastern and Western Region, in Accra on Saturday, Mr Addo stressed on the need for government, parents, and the youth themselves to contribute meaningfully towards nation development through enhanced attitude.   

“The energy and brightness of the minds of the youth act as torch bearer for national development and the country which utilises their youth in positive direction are more developed, the youth of the nation are the trustees of prosperity,” he said.

Mr Addo explained that once all these measures were put in place accordingly, it would bring out the good characters amongst the youth for the future of the nation as the qualities of tomorrow’s leaders lie in the character of today’s followers.

He also called for jobs and employment opportunities for the youth saying “Provision of jobs and employment are leverage for the youth to properly and consciously channel their energy and talent towards nation building.”

Later in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Addo observed that the event had over the years helped to shape the lives of the beneficiaries who were now able to resolve conflicts in their homes and among their peers.

He told the GNA that, this year organisers decided to focus on violence because as a country violence was not a good thing to write home about and it was hindering progress as well as endangering lives.

Mr Addo advised the youth who engaged in violent acts to “Come together, work together to have better future instead of entrusting their lives into the hands for politicians for all kinds of jobs that retard development,” he said.

Speaking on the theme: “The Role of the Youth in National Development”, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, the United Nation Resident Coordinator and United Nation Development Programme Resident Representative for Ghana, said the youth were the key agents to changing "a world afflicted by war, hunger, social, economic and political upheaval."

She, therefore, charged the youth to work together for the progress of Ghana and Africa.

Ms Evans-Klock called for support for the youth to enable them take their rightful place in various sectors of the country and especially in governance to ensure that "people got what rightfully belonged to them" whiles promoting peace and development.

 This she said were expedient because the youth largely bore the brunt of bad leadership in any country.

"Unfortunately, you need some level of power to change situations around so the youth must get involved and change the politics to bring about the desired results they want as a people," she said.

As part of activities marking the 2017 edition of the PeaceJam Ghana, there were breakout sessions among students and their peer educators into family groups, where they learnt family norms, overview of the day’s event, history about speakers as well as role of the youth in the nation building.

 The WACPF is non-governmental organisation that serves young people ages ten to 25 years in schools and communities through human rights education, leadership development and peace building.

With the mission of empowering young generation through awareness creation on non-violence, human rights education and advocacy for social change in schools and communities, WACPF has the vision of promoting peaceful coexistence and respect for all.

The 15 Nobel Peace Laureates who are members of the PeaceJam include; the Delai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, President Oscar Arias among others.



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