The Action Aid Ghana Global platform has hosted a Youth Panel discussion that featured youths from various civic and interest groups found in Tamale, Ghana and students drawn from the Northern Business School (Nobisco). Outstanding in the panel discussion was the need to deal with mind to liberate young people and address inequalities. The Youth Panel was part of advocacy activities held in the build up to the United General Assembly (UNGA) that will also discuss the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York from 24 – 27 September 2015 .
Action Aid youth hub #YouthDiscuss #Inequality is spearheading a number of advocacy campaigns to push the United Nations General Assembly to focus its discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on addressing inequalities within countries. The Sustainable Development Goals are proposed set of targets relating to future international development set by United Nations member states.
The activity was held under the theme “The role of youths in challenging inequalities in the Northern region”. The speakers unpacked the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its proposed key results areas.
In pursuit to locate the role of young people in fighting inequalities in the Northern region, Ghana, the keynote speakers Mr. Gideon Adjololo a Senior Administrative Assistant from University of Development Studies (UDS) as well as the founder and Chief Executive Officer for Transformational Leadership International (TLI) spoke about the importance of young people taking part in decision making. He said youths must change their mindset in order to deal with inequalities in the society. Mr Adjololo lamented harmful cultural practices as an inhibiting to women and girls participation and also in addressing inequalities. He also pointed the many women and girls are unequal to men and boys because they are involved in unpaid care work that the society still undervalues and does not recognize.
He further took participants through the three priority goals selected by Action Aid Ghana Global Platform youth hub which are: Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities, Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and Goal 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries and explicitly explained their targets.
The second speaker Mr Ibrahim Mustapha a young motivational speaker from Public Speaking Institute who was the discussant in the Youth Panel urged youths to embrace social media as a tool to add their voice in fighting inequalities. He said that women and girls must be supported to access education and other opportunities such as paid jobs in order to address inequalities. He also reiterated the submission by Mr Adjololo that it was of paramount importance that young people get involved in decision making process and the need for youths to think positively and change the way they view things.
On the sidelines of the panel discussion one female participant Miss Addae Matilda said “The creation of spaces for dialogue is very useful because it gets us as young women equipped with knowledge that will ensure our effective participation in economic and public issues” She continued “It will help us exhibit our potential and claim our rights”
Young people summed the panel discussion by suggesting issues that need to be addressed or followed by various interest groups that were represented in the panel discussion.
- The youths challenged each other to hold the government to account on its promises to fulfill their rights.
- Youths challenged each other to participate in decision making processes and add their voice.
- Youths agreed that there is need for youths to put pressure on the government to implement policies and other blue prints that it puts in place as a response to such developmental agendas.
- They emphasized the need to empower ad girls with education as a strategy to address inequalities.
- Youths urged organizations present to foster partnerships to increase impact of the work they are engaged in and applauded those that have already started working together in addressing faced by young people in the Northern region.
- Evidenced based advocacy and research was pointed as key tool to be effective in addressing inequalities.
- Youths urged each other to play the watch dog and point excesses of the government that undermine or violate the rights of citizens.
- Youths said interventions that deal with mindset change will be panacea in addressing a plethora of problems faced by young people.
By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni – Inspirator Action Aid Ghana