Where’s the Youth Money?
How easy is it to develop a policy than to fund its implementation?
Evidence suggests, it often isn’t easy. This reflection stems from observations of the 10-year National Youth Policy of Ghana which expired in 2020 and seemed to have delivered very little on its priority areas. This reflection is an attempt to improve upon the policy process and should not be seen to be adversarial.
The policy, was a comprehensive national policy guide intended for youth development in Ghana by addressing issues pertaining to the youth such as the acquisition of skills, political participation, employment, and their general well-being. It was developed to be implemented for a period of 10 years from 2010 - 2020 by the National Youth Authority (NYA), with an implementation plan and initial funding of 10, 053, 734 million Ghana Cedis in 2014. This was a demonstrable commitment by the government to ensure the policy implementation albeit losing the first four years of the policy lifespan. 6 years later, the policy had expired.
Following the expiration of the policy, the NYA has developed a new national youth policy to serve as a comprehensive guide to youth development with a 5-year implementation plan to be launched on #InternationalYouthDay. On the surface, the new policy is expected to provide a framework to improve youth development in the country. As we are excited about the new policy priority areas to be launched on International Youth Day, we are also primarily concerned with how the policy recommendations to be implemented will be funded. How much funds has been dedicated to fund the policy and how do youth and CSOs assess the progress of the policy implementation?
We are concerned because, youth CSOs had already pushed for the enactment of NYA ACT 939 of 2016, with a clear funding allocation of 5% of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) under the Act. This effort was in furtherance of securing sustainable funding and legislating the mandate of the NYA to oversee youth development. This is a significant milestone toward the sustainable funding of youth development in Ghana. The government demonstrated commitment and released a total of GHC 149, 773, 487.7 between 2018 and 2019 to the National Youth Authority. However, according to the Auditor-General's report for 2021, there is no evidence of the expenditure, as well as the fact that the schedule of payments violated Article 252(3) of the 1992 Constitution. In the report, the Auditor General called for the suspension of the administration of funds to the NYA in order for the payments to be reconciled. This is calls for concern because, it would be an impediment to the implementation process of the new national youth policy and the overall youth development in Ghana.
As we join the world to mark this year's International Youth Day on the theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, we call on all agencies, institutions, CSOs, and individuals to join us in asking for the following:
That the government prioritizes and commits to releasing in full, the 5% of the DACF as mandated by law to the NYA for its programs and activities
That the NYA account for the 5% allocation of the DACF released thus far by the Administrator of the Common Funds.
Want to take action to get the national youth policy funded? Reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org and join the national coalition to push for better future of young people.
Alhassan Abdul Ganiyu