UNDP Ghana launches Youth Sounding Board to promote inclusive development.
16 August 2023
Youth participation in decision‑making at all levels is critical in fostering positive social change and in creating an inclusive and sustainable world for all.
In a visionary move to advance inclusive development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced a "Youth Sounding Board" initiative to offer the youth the opportunity to contribute to sustainable development, particularly in Africa.
In Ghana, UNDP outdoors members of its Youth Sounding Board as a collaborative platform to bring together influential youth advocates, and individuals. This is to ensure that the voices of Ghana's young population are heard, considered, and integrated into UNDP's programmes. The aim is also to empower young people to hold government and development partners accountable for their commitments to youth development.
“Our new Youth Sounding Board is a consultative platform that embodies inclusivity, diversity, and active participation of Ghanaian youth in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a significant milestone in our commitment to youth inclusion in the conceptualization, design, and delivery of UNDP interventions and the work of the UN in Ghana. It is our hope that these young voices, their ideas, and solutions will influence the direction of development for a better, inclusive, and more prosperous Ghana”, noted Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.
The members comprising 12 influential young individuals, will play an essential role in advising UNDP on strategies for engaging young people in the implementation of its Country Programme particularly for 2023-2027. The current five-years country programme is focusing on promoting accountable, inclusive, and responsive governance and social cohesion; as well as sustainable, resilient, and inclusive growth, and structural transformation.
“We recognized the mandate given to us to influence UNDP’s programmes to be inclusive and commit to bringing our skills and knowledge from diverse fields onboard to ensure that this is a truly consultative platform”, noted Josephine Agbeko, City Advisor for Inclusive Climate Action, who delivered an acceptance speech on behalf of the Youth Sounding Board members.
The UNDP Youth Sounding Board serves as a milestone in fostering inclusive development by channeling the aspirations, insights, and dynamism of the Ghanaian youth, which forms about 50% of the country’s population.
“I promise to speak on behalf of my colleagues especially those living with disabilities and make them know that disability is not inability”, noted Grace Annabi, one of the Youth Sounding Board Members who is a Teacher at the Edinaman Senior High School in the Central Region of Ghana and an Advocate for Young People Living with Disabilities.
The Youth Sounding Board initiative truly embodies UNDP’s unwavering commitment to amplify youth perspectives and facilitate an environment where the youth’s inputs propel tangible changes.