YBF calls for youth participation in electoral process #YOUTHasKingmakers

Mr Seth Oteng, the Executive Director of Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), has called for steps that will enhance the participation of the youth in the December 7 elections to ensure post election accountability.

He explained that the youth, who were king makers with their roles in politics being critical, were not well-informed with the electoral processes and jargons hence the need for the gaps to be closed.

To this end, he has called on political parties to engage and look at better ways of grooming as well mentoring platforms for the youth.

Mr Oteng made the call in Accra on Thursday at the launch of the first empirical report dubbed: “Youth Political Participation in Ghana’s Electoral Processes and Post –Election Accountability.”

The report, which was authored by Dr Godwin Este Sikanku, a Media and Political Analyst and published by the YBF, was based on the knowledge, attitudes and opinions of students of the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and University of Ghana concerning the December polls through a conducted survey.

The ages of respondents ranged from 18-25 with the Greater Accra, Eastern and Western Regions being the respondents.

Touching on the survey, Mr Oteng said the gaps had been identified and the needed platform created through engagement with the youth for sustainable commitments to be maintained.

He therefore called on corporate bodies to look at investing in the education of the youth as well as supporting the process of closing youth electoral processes gaps that would help build a strong economy.

“It is wrong for political parties to thrive on the ignorance of citizenry, which is a threat for Ghana’s democracy, because informed citizens deepen democracy,” he said.

Mr Oteng called on the Electoral Commission to “See elections as a cycle and not just an event, as doing so will enhance the interest of the youth in electoral processes”, he said.

On his part, Dr Sikanku, said youth participation was crucial in any democratic country as it helped to legitimise democratic process, build political and civic culture, satisfied the motion of the representatives and empowered the youth through personal development.

He observed that during the survey, there were attitude of disinterest and apathy in respondents’ behaviour.

He therefore urged the political parties to go out and be more focused on issues concerning the youth and know their needs as well concerns.

“There is also the need for an advocacy to improve the level of political discourse, focus on issues and not personality or insults

“And this improvement should be more dynamic and appealing to the youth,” he advised.

Some of the participants who spoke to the Ghana News Agency expressed worry at how they had been ignored in the electoral processes of the country.

“We the youth of the country have been ignored for far too long in terms of stakeholders engagement and discourse, to the extent that with just two weeks to the elections, we are denied access to political parties manifestoes, so how will we be able to ask the right questions, get the right answers that will help us to make informed choices in terms of whom to vote for,” Mr Samuel Asamoah said.

He therefore called for the youth’s extensive inclusion in decision making through supportive platforms for critical information and resources to be available for their total development.

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