A three-day virtual technical meeting of ECOWAS member states, experts and stakeholders aimed at reviewing and validating the sub-region’s Youth Strategic Action Plan has been held in Accra, this week.
Opening the session, Mr Sylvester Tetteh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority who chaired the function, thanked the ECOWAS Commission for recognizing Ghana as the preferred destination to host the maiden virtual meeting and said Ghana is privileged to play host to the meeting.
He recalled the 2010 National Youth Policy of Ghana, which has recently undergone a similar exercise of review and validation and said the reviewed document, which spans 2021 -2031 covers some critical areas which the ECOWAS Youth Strategic Plan of Action also touches on. Some of the areas are Youth Education & Employment; Youth & Health; Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development; Science and ICT; Youth & Governance; amongst others.
He noted that the emergent trends such as the novel Covid-19 pandemic, migration, and climate change were all critical issues affecting young persons which urgently deserved creativity and innovation to address.
Dr Siga Fatima Jagne, Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender at ECOWAS who opened the session mentioned xenophobia and lack of affordable housing as key challenges confronting the sub region and called on all participants to take a critical look at that whilst identifying new ways and means to address it.
She said ECOWAS has over the years placed youth development at the centre of its human development and social affairs initiatives adding “and these initiatives shall continually be supported and implemented to address the yearnings of this indispensable stratum of the populace.”
The meeting, which started on 28th ended yesterday September 30 2020.
The meeting among its key objectives, reviewed and updated the Youth Strategic Plan of Action and repositioning it to effectively respond to emerging trends in the youth development sector.
The expected outcome of the meeting is a new ECOWAS Youth Strategic Plan of Action spanning 2021-2031.