The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) yesterday engaged hundreds of tertiary students in the Youth Leadership Empowerment Dialogue (Youth-LED) in Accra.
Organised under the theme, “NCCE @ 30: Building Youth Leadership for Participation in Local Governance,” the initiative is in line with the commission’s commitment to promoting civic education and enhancing the active involvement of youth in governance, ahead of this year’s District Level Elections.
Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, Kathleen Addy entreated the student leaders to endeavour to participate in the forthcoming elections slated for December 19.
“We engaged the leadership wings of various tertiary institutions because most often when there is a District Level Election, youth participation is not encouraged, which is very worrying. As a commission, it is our mandate to ensure that every individual gets involved in democratic governance,” she said.
Ms. Addy assured that with the coming into force of the Building Youth Leadership initiative, which will be held nationwide in the coming months, it is bent on ensuring that every student leader is engaged in mainstream governance for their perspectives and voices to be heard and considered in the local decision-making process.
“The NCCE has a big role to play in developing democracy. Having experienced the terrible military rules and political uncertainties before the inception of democracy, we are mandated as a commission to ensure that the youth are engaged in the democratic discussion in the country so you feel that you are part of governance.
“To this, l call on the student leaders to educate their members on the relevance of the District Level Elections. This is the only way we get to appoint our chosen leaders we trust can deliver to the development of our communities, but ignoring its importance to Ghana’s democratic development will have dire consequences for the country,” she added.
Head of Gender and Youth Programme, Electoral Commission, Abigail Amponsah Nutarkor, in her presentation, highlighted the significance of high voter turnout in elections.
She said high voter turnout is an indicator of participatory democracy, adding, “A high voter turnout shows that the elected person is the true representation of the electorate, which places legitimacy on the assemblyman, woman, and unit committee members as such.”
Participating schools for the maiden Youth Leadership Empowerment Dialogue (Youth-LED) include the University of Ghana, University of Media, Arts and Communication – Institute of Journalism (Unimac-IJ), and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
By Prince Fiifi Yorke