Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The support of leaders is a powerful tool in advocating for the changes we want to see. Because of this, ACFODE has over the years engaged local leaders (political, cultural, religious and community) in most of her activities to influence positive change. Consequently, a Youth Leaders’ Dialogue was held in Apac district on the 27th of March 2012 with the objective of providing a platform for leaders to engage with local government offices with issues to do with planning cycles, budgeting processes, and service delivery so that young people are given consideration during such processes.

The dialogue brought together a total of 30 participants and these included district local government officials and youth leaders from the project sub counties of Akokoro and Town Council.

During the dialogue, a paper on Planning, Budgeting and Service Delivery was presented by Mr. Pele Enon – Apac District Planner. The presentation entailed a detailed process followed in the planning cycle at district level. It also featured the available avenues which youth can take advantage of in order to have their issues incorporated in the district development plan.

Last year, ACFODE and the other implementing partners under this project carried out a baseline survey which revealed that youth hardly participate in planning processes and that the few that participate do not effectively engage hence, majority are not aware about the different available processes and programs that they can benefit from. It is therefore against this background that ACFODE organized this dialogue so that such avenues and the options of benefiting from them are clearly spelt out to participants.

Mr. Enon also emphasized the bottom up planning approach which starts from village to district level during his presentation noting that ‘the youth should utilize it to have their issues incorporated in the district plan.’

Another presentation on the NAADs Program was made by Mr. Opule Samuel. It highlighted the different components of the program and how different stakeholders can benefit from it. This was spot-on as it gave an opportunity for the official to get feedback from the youth leaders about the political interference involved in procedures for identifying beneficiaries, and how this has in most cases left out the youth.

One Councilor shared that “one time, when goats were being given out under this program, an order came from some high authorities and I was given goats yet I hadn’t applied for them. This I think this was unfair to some of the young people who were denied yet they had followed procedure.’

Because of such scenarios therefore, participants agreed to work together to sensitize the youth about available opportunities and to also work towards changing their attitudes towards development initiatives like NAADs because many were biased and because of this, they were missing out on many opportunities. They also agreed to inform young people at the grass root about not having ‘un-realistic’ expectations about such programs and also about the procedures involved if one is to participate and benefit. The government officials present also pledged to support youth leaders in pleas meant to empower young people.

Compiled by
Ofwono Salume
Project Officer – ACFODE
Email: ofsalume@yahoo.com