The commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre, Major General Richard Addo Gyane has announced the expansion and scope of its Women and Peace Security Institute to include youth.

He said the move is geared towards according the youth the same recognition and social protection given to women.

Major General Richard Addo Gyane was speaking at a citizens’ forum on Youth, Democracy, Elections and Peace organized by Youth Bridge Foundation at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra.

Now Christened Women, Youth Peace and Security Institute (WYPSI), the commandant said the youth remain a critical component for the realization of national cohesion and development.

The commandant said KAIPTC shares in the ideals of YBF inclusion of youth in the democratic process and the promotion of peace adding the forum is timely and relevant.

He said it was interesting to learn that recent demographic figures suggest that 57 percent of Ghana’s population are under the age of 25 years.

Major General Addo Gyane noted given the requisite leadership and guidance, the youth could be active participants in matters that concern their social, mental and physical wellbeing.

He said “We need our youth to be part of efforts to address violent extremism, for example, by belonging to the circle of young peacebuilders who would rather choose the path to social development instead of anarchy and mayhem”.

He said the voice of the youth can shape the course of nations if only the country can recognize the immense significance of their involvement in democratic processes.

The commandant called on the youth to resist any attempts by misguided elements to prevent the collective voice of the people from being heard but rather participate actively in democratic processes to give peace and national development a chance.

Major General Richard Addo Gyane rallied participants and called on Ghanaians to forge a path towards accountable governance adding the realization of true democracy rests on the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections.

The forum also produced a Policy Paper on Youth Responsible Participation in Democracy, Elections and Promotion of Peace in Ghana and Africa.

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