Damongo youth educated on peace and development
2009-06-03 21:47:41This article has been read 835 times.THE TAMALE Ecclesiastical Province Pastoral Conference (TEPPCON) has taken the youth of Damongo through a training workshop, to equip them with the requisite knowledge that would enable them contribute towards fostering peace in conflict zones in northern Ghana.
The training, which was organised in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Foundation, was aimed at educating, sensitising and encouraging the youth to participate in politics and good governance, with a focus on promoting peace in various activities in the region.
Addressing the youth on the theme, “Sustainable Peace for Development: Challenges, Roles and Responsibilities” in the Northern Region on Tuesday, the TEPPCON-Partnership Coordinator, Ms. Agnes Gandaa, noted that “the roles and responsibilities of every individual towards sustainable development is key.”
According to her, the future of the country rests with particularly the youth, hence the need to provide them with the needed resources to contribute to development with a better understanding of Ghana’s decentralisation system and democracy.
She said it had become necessary to educate the youth to be in the forefront of promoting peace and development, especially in the north, because of the numerous conflicts and development challenges in the area.
She indicated that the people of the north, already living in poverty and in need of many developmental challenges, should strive to avoid political, ethnic, land and chieftaincy conflicts, in view of its devastating effects on both those involved in them, and those outside the conflict zones.
Ms. Gandaa told the people of Damongo, who were not directly involved in the conflict, that “if you have the opportunity to know the horrible effects of the conflicts in Dagbon and Bawku in particular, you would never encourage or be influenced to cause or participate in such conflicts.
“It is therefore important to maintain and protect the peace here, and as youth of this district, even find ways of contributing to peace in our conflict zones. This is because conflicts in any part of the north do not affect the developmental agenda of only that district or region, but the whole government developmental agenda of the three northern regions,” she told the youth.
She continued that sustainability development demands the people to take initiatives on their own, show commitment to duty, voluntary contributions, protection of their values and potentials, and make realistic demands of their share of the national cake.
As such, she admonished them to turn their weaknesses into opportunities, redefine their developmental priorities, and make efforts to develop the district, stressing, “You have to find ways to help breach the developmental and poverty gap between the new district and the older ones.”
In addition, she urged the youth to take formal education seriously, since that was what would aid them in their efforts to contribute to development and secure the future of their districts, because a well developed human resource was core to the development of the district and region.
Furthermore, she noted that the basic needs of the district were quality education, good health facilities, potable water and a good road linking the district to the capital, while small dams for irrigation and an accessible shea nut industry were critical development issues for consideration.
In view of this, she urged the government to channel resources into developing the newly-created districts to breach the poverty and developmental gaps between rural and urban areas, saying, “let us constitute ourselves into disciplined and dynamic youth groups that reminds government, through District Chief Executives and Members of Parliament, of our developmental needs, so that our due share of development is given to us.”
The Progammes Manager of KAS, Mr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, in a short address, stated that in view of the several structural difficulties such as unfair world trade systems, poor infrastructures, minimal human capital, diseases and general health challenges, extreme forms of poverty and natural disasters, conflicts leading to destruction must be avoided at all costs.
He said these were more than enough constraints and difficulties for government to address, therefore the destruction of public and private property, at the least provocation, was unpardonable, and an act that should be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians, irrespective of political persuasions and orientation.
“The people of the three northern regions have had more than enough share of the manifestations of the negative effects of conflicts in the country. It is therefore time we all agree to say, enough is enough,” he said.
He advised the youth to be wary of politicians and leaders who seek to exploit them for parochial interests, which impacts negatively on the socio-economic development of their region. This, he said, required them to be discerning and disciplined in their activities, and work hard to achieve their objectives, desired careers and development.