The third African Youth and Governance Conference this month focused on youth issues and opportunities, including entrepreneurship and agriculture. As young people make up a growing percentage of the population, advocates say increasing their participation across society is key.
by Lilly Mensah
Dadzie, a Ghana ambassador for Voices of Future World, a project that aims to increase youth participation in public debate, says the conference provides the opportunity to network with other young people from various countries and discuss youth development issues.
“After the conference, my expectations have been met, and much more has been said,” he says. “I only want to see us moving from talk to action.”
Dadzie says that among the many issues that the conference addressed, the one that caught his attention was youth in agriculture. He says that many young people in Ghana aren’t interested in agriculture because some teachers at local high schools use it as punishment for students.
“I remember very well that in school, any time a teacher had to punish us, we had to go and weed a vast area of land for long hours, and this made us skip certain classes,” he says. “This was not done only in my school, but [also] in various senior high schools across the country. By so doing, my interest in agriculture is very minimal.”
But he says that the conference improved his view of agriculture. He says he learned that agriculture offers an ideal profession for young people since a large percentage of the nation depends on the agricultural sector for food and raw materials.
“Now agriculture is attractive to young people due to the introduction of new mechanisms and technologies,” he says.
He says that he’d like to get involved in agriculture, or “agric” as many call it here, on top of a law career.
“I will love to pursue agric with my natural career as well, which is law, aside [from] social work and volunteerism,” he says. “I will want to grow maize, cereals and poultry.”
Ghana hosted the Third African Youth and Governance Conference this month to discuss the economic development of youth. Two of the conference’s focuses were youth entrepreneurship and youth in agriculture. The government has promised to increase youth participation in agriculture and other sectors during the coming year, acknowledging the rapidly expanding youth population in Ghana and around the developing world.
The World Bank Group has projected that there will be 3 billion youth by 2015, with 2.5 billion of them living in developing countries. Young people ages 10 to 19 made up 22 percent of Ghana’s population in 2009…Continue reading via Global Press