By Prosper Adankai
The National Youth Authority, NYA, in collaboration with the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council and the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly has inaugurated the 6th Youth Parliament in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region. A similar exercise was held in Zebilla in the Bawku West District.
The Youth Parliament seeks to provide a single formalised structure for the youth to deliberate on matters of importance to youth development and to hold duty bearers accountable.
In a message, the Upper East Regional Minister Stephen Yakubu observed that the Youth Parliament serves as a melting pot of capacity training in communication, advocacy and research to prepare young people for the future, while providing a breeding ground for confidence building, community mobilisation and networking. He acknowledged the shared responsibility involving government, traditional and religious authorities in making young people the best assets for the country. He however urged the youth to avail themselves of all opportunities and eschew all forms of violent extremism. Mr Yakubu bemoaned the spate of teenage pregnancies in the region and challenged the youth to join the fight against the menace to keep teenagers in school and free from sexually transmitted diseases.
On his part the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive Joseph Amiyuure Atura urged members of the Youth Parliament to take notice of the problems in the Municipality and take steps to come out with solutions. He urged them to put aside their parochial interest and individualism in order to commit to the larger interest of society.
Speaking to GBC URA Radio, the Upper East Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, Francis Takyi-Koranteng disclosed that the Regional Youth Parliament would soon be inaugurated as steps are being taken to replicate the exercise in the 9 remaining Municipality and District Administrative areas.
The Bolgatanga Municipal Director, Madam Clare Maar indicated that the Parliament would give the youth the opportunity to voice their concerns instead of resorting to demonstration and other inappropriate avenues to express their frustrations.
Speaker of the Bolgatanga Municipal Youth Parliament Melvin Akurugu Adoku commended the Regional Minister, the Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga, and the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly for their support in inaugurating the Parliament.
The Majority Leader of the House (Youth Parliament), Sampson Akologo assured that regular meeting would be organised involving duty bearers to find antidotes to the developmental concerns in the Municipality.
The Minority Chief Whip Abdul Wahab who spoke on behalf of the Majority Leader of the Bolgatanga Municipal Youth Parliament, promised to constructively criticize government policies and programmes to the benefit of the Municipality.
The Executive Director of the Upper East Youth for Peace, Alhassan Andani commended the National Youth Authority for aligning with the vision of the youth to promote peace and harmony in the Upper East Region.