The students’ wings of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the University of Ghana have expressed opposing views on the effectiveness of youth participation in the political space in the country.
This follows findings in the August 2020 Afrobarometer report which highlighted that majority of Ghanaians believe the country can properly be developed with the views of elders than the youth.
“A majority of Ghanaians believe that in order for the country to do well, we should listen to the wisdom of our elders (54%) rather than to fresh ideas from young people (36%). This view is shared widely across key socio-demographic groups – even among young adults (54%),” the report indicated.
For the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON) of the NPP, it is beneficial to have the elderly at the realm of affairs.
In an interview on Campus Exclusive on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, Member of the Communications team of TESCON, Nana Kofi Ampong Darkwa, argued that the country saw no major developments under the regime of the erstwhile administration which was led by “a younger person.”
“In 2012 we elected a younger person into power and the younger person brought onto us the energy crisis, he cancelled allowances, took us to the IMF that placed an embargo on employment. In 2017, an older person has taken over and look at what is happening in our economy,” he stated.
According to him, “we have had a younger person from 2012 to 2016, he inherited an economy at a growth rate of 14.5% and he brought it down to 3.5%. Do we want that again?”
However, the Tertiary Institutions Network of NDC (TEIN) trusts the involvement of the youth in political activities is the only assured way to ensure that they gain experience in matters pertaining to politics in the country.
Vice President of TEIN, Yassir Arafat, scored that the NDC is an all-inclusive party, adding that youth should key stakeholders in political discourses to groom them.
“The political party I belong to…call everybody on board irrespective of your age, ethnicity, colour, tribe or whatever. I want to say that we should allow young people in the political discourse because that is the only means they will gain experience and metamorphose them to a higher position in the same political discourse we are all following,” he said.
Nana Kofi Ampong of TESCON admitted that the engagement of the youth is peculiar, but “our activities do not transfer into governance, governance is serious event.”
Reacting to that, Yassir Arafat stated that TEIN ensures that the youth are provided with appropriate positions best suited to their competencies.
“With our party, if you are young and competent, you will be given opportunity to come and serve,” he added.