Any time I have the opportunity to interact with young people I always tell them that the future belongs to those who prepare themselves for it and not for those who rush into it. May I ask you a question; what are you doing to prepare yourself to participate in the administration of this country?
Twenty years ago, as part of my preparation for the future, I was actively engaged in mobilizing youths for the purpose of afforestation, aimed at preserving the ecosystem.
If the country Ghana belongs to us then we must deliberately prepare ourselves by obtaining the necessary skills and knowledge to build it and tailor it to suit our needs at every point in time.
I have another question for you, and anyone can answer it. Are you aware of the various State institutions and what each of them is required to do to support your preparation and development?
For the purpose of the topic, I am addressing you on, that is, “Effective Utilization of 5% District Assembly Common Fund Allocation to National Youth Authority for A Holistic Development in Ghana”, I shall draw your attention to some State institutions and their functions, some provisions of the fundamental law of the land, the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, as well as some provisions of the National Youth Authority Act, 2016 (Act 939).
Let us start with the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992 (a document I hope that each of you will have a copy, be it hard or soft); Clause 1 of Article 36 with the underlying subject, Economic Objectives, provides that “The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare , freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.” Holistically, this provision encompasses every citizen. However, special attention has been given to the youths by the promulgation of Act 939. The long title of the Act states, “AN ACT to establish the National Youth Authority, to develop a dynamic and disciplined youth imbued with a spirit of nationalism and a sense of public service and morality, and to provide for related matters”. One objective of the Authority is to develop the creative potential of the youth and this is done by formulating policies and implementing programmes with the aim of promoting your sense of creativity, self-reliance, leadership, loyalty to the country, discipline and civic responsibility, among others.
Furthermore, in order to achieve its objectives and to carry out its functions, the Authority ha been provided with some funds and this is provided by Section 17 of Act 939. Among such funds is 5% of the District Assemblies Common Fund. As a former board member, I can tell you that over the years the funds have been used judiciously to enhance the activities of the Authority. Section 18 makes provision for the application of the funds of the Authority and states as follows:
“(1) The funds of the Authority shall be applied for the
- Performance of the functions of the Authority;
- Administrative expenses and oversight supervision by the Ministry which shall in any case not exceed five percent of the funds of the Authority.
(2) The Board shall ensure that the funds of the Authority are used solely for the purpose for which they are approved.”
My dear friends, do you have any suggestions on how these funds can be effectively utilized? And what does effective utilization mean to you?
I will conclude by drawing your attention to the Court as a State institution or an instrument that can be used by you if you think that the Authority is not utilizing the funds effectively. You can go to court and seek for an order of Mandamus to compel the Authority to utilize the funds allocated to it effectively for your benefit. On this note, let me remind you that the Authority deals with youth organizations that are registered with it. Thus, if you do not belong to any youth organization, there are a number of them in existence, find one that suits your capacity and interest and affiliate with them. And if possible, form an organization and register it with the Authority.
Remember, the future belongs to those who prepare for it. And “Preparation precedes power”.