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Rejoinder: National Youth Authority (NYA) Is A “Useless” Entity   
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On Tuesday, 28th January 2014, my attention was drawn to the above caption purported to have been made by Dr. Sekou Nkrumah. Having found myself in the realm of youth development over the years, I cannot help but to also respond.

My immediate reaction after reading the article was to disagree with Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, eventhough I respect his opinion. Indeed, I am one of those who have consistently been very critical of the performance or modus operandi of NYA.

But upon further interrogation, I realized Dr. Sekou had a point. Why? Any institution that is not living up to its mandate is likely to be classified as such. What is the benefit of pumping resources (however Iittle) into an institution that is not performing? A few years ago, I submitted a proposal to the NYA (then National Youth Council) when Dr. Sekou was the Acting Coordinator. No sooner had I left the premises, I had a call from him in response to my proposal requesting for a meeting. I was astonished by the swift response. The number of times I have engaged Dr. Sekou portrayed him as one who was willing to promote and deepen the cause of youth development in Ghana.

The truth of the matter is that successive governments have failed the Ghanaian youth over the years clearly confirmed by the words of Ras Mubarak (current Boss of NYA). According to a citifmonline report, Ras is quoted to have expressed grave concerns about the continuous delay by Parliament to pass the National Youth Bill. “The law governing youth activities was established 40 years ago my brother and was called the national youth council, the decree was 241 and has remained same why can’t they pass the bill”, he is quoted to have said. So if our law makers (the 2nd arm of government) are not taking the Youth Bill seriously, how can I fault Dr. Sekou Nkrumah?

The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) established in 2006 (then NYEP) which we have been told had no legal basis in the first place saw so much money pumped into it which eventually found its way into people’s deep pockets. An yet NYA (event with legal mandate) struggles to survive on the crumbs of bread that falls from the table of the sector ministry aside the unnecessary political interferences gallivanting on its corridors. Is this not a shame?

I think Ras is working sedulously inspite of the years of accumulated monstrous and humongous challenge he has to tame and subdue.

In terms of its mandate or responsibility, the NYA I contend is very “useful” but its inability to function or operate satisfactorily will continue to provoke persons like Dr. Sekou to describe it as “useless”.

The Implementation plan of the national youth policy is expected to be validated on Thursday, 30th January 2014 leading to a national launch in February, 2014. Should this happen, we hope to see how NYA will live up to expectation and gloriously pride itself as most useful as far as youth development in Ghana is concern.

Chibeze Ezekiel
Youth Development Advocate

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