wpid-victoria-427x400.jpgBy: Bernard Kwofie

??When it comes to formulating innovative ideas and galvanizing action, it is clear that we older generations have much to learn from young people. They are not apathetic or disengaged; they are simply savvy enough to know that we are not listening to them??.?Kofi Annan

?I admire the youth for their strength, their zeal, their determination and above all for their exuberance and they bring some diversity into the area of governance and I think that it is an appropriate call.

?I wish that the opportunity will offer itself so that I will be able to use more young people in the administration of this country?.?Late President John Atta Mills


Misconduct in public office is not new in Ghana politics and peculiar to a particular generation in public service. Both the old and the young in high public offices in one way or the other have engaged in acts that have not only brought embarrassment to themselves but their appointing authorities as well. Yet it is often that an entire generation of young people have had to watch not even their experience but their competency and capability subject to such harsh criticism anytime misconduct involves a younger person. But is there a generation that has failed lesser than today?s younger generation? My answers lies in the words of Sir Bob Gedolf when he spoke at the One Young World Summit in South Africa and I quote, ??All generations fail, but my generation has failed more disgracefully than any other, for that we apologize??.??For clarity Sir Bob is 62 years and he spoke just this year. Our very own Nobel Peace Laureate, Bosomboro Kofi Annan did not mince words when he said and I quote again, ??We have not always served our young people well. As the tempestuous start of this century has shown, our political leaders and institutions have failed to keep up with the rapid changes to our world. Our inability to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges, from environmental degradation to rising inequality, has undermined public confidence and trust in our institutions. The global economic crisis over the past few years has furthered this disillusionment, particularly among the younger members of our societies. The grievances of young people are understandable. They have been the least responsible for the economic downturn, yet have paid the heaviest price in terms of lost jobs and dashed prospects??.

Clearly if there is a generation that deserve no place in governance here in Ghana then it?s the older ones. They have not only failed to be an example but have failed to as well usher us into a new world country even in the midst of their deep centered experience. All that they have done in their years of service even if to the nation at all have been to plunge our nation into HIPC, collapse our national airlines and other state institution, use our money to educate their children abroad, deprive us of our identity, abuse our sisters, steal our future, sell our pride and manipulate our education. Today the younger generation has to worry about things you used not to worry about when you were young. We have to travel miles to access the very thing things you had at the tip of your fingers when you were young. Today, jobs, opportunities, prospects, quality education, and functional amenities and utilities including parks are far away from us. I may be young, yes but not be too young to know that your leadership lacked and continue to lack creativity, energy, action, determination and the willingness to succeed. I may be young but not too young to know that for years you were put in charge to provide solutions to these challenges. To which you failed.

Yet instead of you to apologize to us whenever there is the opportunity just as Sir Bob did with the one young summit, you rather prefer to castigate an entire race and dissipate their future in governance in such continuity.?Even worse, you have used the conduct of some very few young ones who have had the opportunity to serve in politics and governance to vilify us all, and to justify why we all must be denied an opportunity to hold positions as high as that of a Minister in government as well as end our long struggle for fair participation. It may be true that we have got a lot to learn. But it is true that we have got a lot to teach.

For some of us the swipe taken on young people in the wake of the leaked conversation of the former minister of information did not come as a surprise. Except that the trend it took in which an entire opinion was even dedicated to the cause and the course of the young in governance further deepened our plight and left scars on our cheeks. Now I am only left to wonder whether there will ever be an entire lecture poured on old ministers. There is no doubt that such conduct has damaged the reputation of an entire race and has limited their chance of participation particularly on a continent less of commitment. However, there is doubt when admonish that the leak has gone to affirm the incompetency and unpreparedness of young people to assume sensitive responsibilities in government. Particularly when in the words of Mr. Kofi Annan and I paraphrase, the?desire to participate is a defining characteristic of the young people he encounter.?Again it will be interesting for us all to ask if the young people we have in politics and government are the finest we can boost of? Or has the entire Ghanaian youth suddenly turn unintelligent as the 3 female duos describe their bunch? Are these ministers true reflection of the Ghanaian youth and their competence when there are records of young amazing Ghanaians in industry and civil service???Truly we cannot use this sample to define an entire race of over 50% of the country?s 24million inhabitant. Surely we may have caused some youthful contempt in the past but to champion discourse in these vilifying lines in the wake of the ?vickileak? will amount to a contempt of old if not digression.


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