The relevance of the youth in Ghana’s multiparty democracy cannot be over-emphasised, especially when it is the strength of the nation and also accounts for a larger proportion of the national population.
The Fourth Republican democratic dispensation has seen the youth taking active part in governance and leadership positions, a phenomenon that is good for shaping the future leadership of the country.
However, the question arises whether the youth are losing relevance in the current political discourse with all this name-calling.
A former President, H.E. Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, once referred to certain young officials of the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government as “babies with sharp teeth”.
In today’s issue of The Chronicle, Mr Allotey Jacobs, Central Regional Chairman of the opposition NDC, has described some of the young politicians in his party as “pampers-wearing babies.”
In addition, some young politicians have been involved in corruption-related practices, with the recent one being Abuga Pele.
These issues present the need for introspection, as a country, to assess the performance, contribution and influence of the youth in our political discourse and chart a path that would make them increasingly relevant in our body politics.
We must ensure that experience and efficiency are not lost in the political environment, whilst also making sure that the youth are not discouraged from taking up frontline leadership roles.
The youth in leadership must realise that they represent the youthful generation and must accept the herculean task of leading people, whilst they learn to gain experience.
Our national political discourse should not pit the young politician against the old and experienced ones or vise-versa, but rather make a fine blend of experience and youthful exuberance to further enhance our democratic credentials as a beacon of democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa. After all, as said by John C. Maxwell, “leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”