Ghanaians mark 2015 International Youth Day amid calls on gov’t for action

The International Youth Day was marked in Ghana on Wednesday with a call on all youths to come under the Action 2015 banner with a strong voice to demand action from Government, action to be proactive in its decision making processes ahead of the US summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) slated for September 25-27 which they will be expected to sign onto in New York.

The International Youth Day (IYD) is a day set aside to celebrate the role of the youth towards nation building which is marked annually and globally on the 12th of August.

This year’s event in Ghana was marked as a youth forum which took place at various locations concurrently in Accra, Kumasi, and Nsawam with lots of activities ranging from flash mobs, public fora, celebrity talks, quiz competitions amongst others.

In Accra, the event was observed as a youth forum at the Action Senior High and Technical School located at Madina, a suburb of Accra. In attendance were more than 500 students drawn from 3 Senior and Junior High Schools.

They converged at the School’s Assembly Hall where various youth activists group leaders took turns to address and sensitize them on the significance of the day, why the world will migrating from  the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals and the essence of the Action 2015 campaign.

They were also made to understand that being a youth and sharing in the membership of the Action 2015 campaign with one strong voice gives them the power to demand from government fairness and also hold him accountable to his promises ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit slated for September 25-27 in New York.

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Aku Xornam Kevi, Executive Director of the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYD), the main organizer of the event, encouraged the youth to lead the change and demand for action from government to be committed towards the summit and to make the right decisions as Ghana migrates from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals in September.

In her presentation, she stated: “It is with belief that 2015 is a critical year for progress in the fight against climate change, poverty and equality hence the need for action on part of youths to effect a radical change.

“It behoves on our leaders to make a good decision throughout this major events because whatever the outcome, it’ll go a long way in shaping the future of the people and this planet for the next 15 years. We as youths must be stand and raise our voice to see that the right thing is done simply because the future belongs to us and we must protect it.”

She explained that world leaders are expected to take action and be committed to taking good decisions and exercising fairness in their dealings ahead of the remaining two  major conferences  which the youth has a greater role to play in  determining  the  future as the outcome of the events.

This, she said was the reason for the call to back Action 2015 campaign which 22 million people all over the world has come on board to mobilize the youth with one voice towards achieving.

The purpose is to demand their rights from government and hold it accountable to transform the world from poverty, gender inequality, halting the spread of HIV and AIDS and other pertinent challenges that confronts people on daily basis worldwide.

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She, therefore, urged the youth to demonstrate solidarity and show their commitment by raising their voice to back the call for action 2015 campaign which is in full gear at the moment as the world marks the International Youth Day.

According to the Executive Director of the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYD), one of such event is the well-talked about Sustainable Development Goals Summit.

The second major event which she mentioned was the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) which is slated for 30th November-11th December 2015 in Paris, France including the immediate past UN’s 3rd financing for development summit which was held in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia between 13-16 July.

Georgina Amoaku, Head teacher of the Action Senior High School, admonished the students not to allow their youthful life to derail them into improper behaviour which will eventually ruin their future.

“Youthful life is full of fantasies and enthusiasm and this shouldn’t lead you as youths into unacceptable behaviors and Juvenile differences. As a youths, you must be disciplined and God fearing; concentrate on your studies and be able to become a responsible adult,” she stated.

The event also witnessed a quiz competition which saw the Action Senior High School emerging as overall winners, followed by WASS Experimental JHS and the Glorious International School adjudged as third place winners.

They were presented with souvenirs in addition to a certificate of honour and a plaque.

Action2015 is a growing citizens’ movement made up of almost 2000 organizations, networks and coalitions from 148 countries including 22 million actions so far.

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By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|Madina, Accra|Ghana