Ghana is hosting members of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), experts and stakeholders to review and validate the Youth Strategic Action Plan.
Opening the session, CEO of the National Youth Authority, Sylvester Tetteh expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for recognising 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.
It included Youth Education and Employment, Youth and Health, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, Science and ICT, Youth and Governance amongst others.
He said emerging trends such as the Covid-19 pandemic, migration, and climate change were all critical issues affecting young persons which urgently deserved creativity and innovation to address.
Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender at ECOWAS, Dr Siga Fatima Jagne also 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 center of its human development and social affairs initiatives.
Adding that, “and these initiatives shall continually be supported and implemented to address the yearnings of this indispensable stratum of the populace.”
The meeting which is slated from 28th to 30th September 2020, has amongst its key objectives, reviewing and updating 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.