Monday, May 28, 2007
The emerging leaders as we prefer to be called will further visit some organizations, ministry of information and individuals who are a force to reckon with when it comes to Ghana’s democracy and good governance.
The young democrats participated in the annual Youngstars Foundation International program dubbed “DESPLAY” – Democracy Series, Participation, Learning and Action Youth” which is three semester packaged program. In this program, Youngstars after every second semester of the program organizes a learning visit for participants to one African country.
This is a part of the component of the DESPLAY project which facilitate interaction with another democracy.Our “DESPLAY” participants are due to visit Ghana for the first time come July 2007.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The Bible Society of Ghana has launched the project “One Million Bibles for Junior Secondary Schools”
In 1965, the then Government of Ghana ordered 500,000 Bibles for free distribution to schools. Since then no government has ordered Bibles for free distribution to schoolchildren. Though the Bible Society of Ghana has been able to make some Bibles free to schoolchildren, it has not been able to meet the request for free Bible that comes from school children. Today, the Bible Society is taking a bold step of faith in seeking to make Bibles available free to school children in public schools and selected private schools in deprived communities. The aim is to supply One Million Bibles to JSS 1 pupils over a three-year period, announced Apostle Dr. Michael K. Ntumy, President of the Bible Society of Ghana...to be continued!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord, can stand up to anything.
this is a piece of my mind. if you can walk the walk then you can talk the talk...say your mind.
After the just ended Nigeria polls, an election observer concludes that President Kufuor has huge task to deepen democracy in Africa. A Ghanaian election observer, Mr. Fred Gobah-Tengey, has called on the Chairman of the African Union, President J.A. Kufuor, to help deepen democracy on the African continent. He urged the AU chairman to use his position and influence to free the continent from electoral violence some of which results in fatalities, to enable Africans to benefit meaningfully from the ballot box.
He said Africa which is very rich in human and natural resources, must not suffer from electoral frauds that can lead to social and economic instability and strangulation. Commenting on the Nigerian elections said, the polls were full of electoral fraud. He also advised Ghanaians to take a cue from the nastyincidents that characterised the Nigerian elections by being vigilant and refraining from any acts of hooliganism and electoral manipulation during the 2008 general elections in order to sustain peace, unity and stability in the country…
Source: Daily Graphic (April 26,2007)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Below is the fallout of youth roundtable from Nigeria. Read on and make your comment, contribution and suggestions. An initiative by Youngstars Foundation International with support from Group 100. Big up YFI!
I write with great pleasure to present a summary report and communiqué from the Nigerian Youth Roundtable on 2007 Elections and Political Parties Manifestos organized by Youngstars at the Royalton Hotel Conference Hall, Garki, Abuja, between Wednesday 4th – Thursday 5th, April, 2007.
The Roundtable was scheduled for 30 youths leaders but over 40 youth leaders from about 10 states where in attendance. For the 2 days, the youths examined available party manifestoes to see how the parties have mainstreamed youth issues in their program vis-à-vis what young people peoples should expect from them when they assume government. It also provided an open forum for young people from different zones to unite and articulate what they considered as major issues/challenges to national youth development.
The 2 days meeting also gave birth to questions of how young people can become more involved in budget tracking and monitoring; and how young people can also become more involved in sectoral performance review at the end of each year; to see how the different government ministries and agencies perform, there is already a thinking of how to review the administration when the new government is established later in the year. For us in Youngstars, bearing some of these outcomes, we consider the Youth Roundtable a huge success and the beginning of a very strategic youth participation in national development, and we promise to keep your office posted. Meanwhile, please find attached a copy of the
- Parties tried to highlight some basic national issues but did not exhibit dept of thought and initiative in articulating how such major national issues shall be strategically addressed. For instance, no manifesto articulated
current power situation and how it hopes to tackle it in a time-bound way. Nigeria may remain a “Generator Driven Economy” for many more years to come. Invariable, Nigeria
- Most parties recognized the importance of youths in nation building and successor generation plan. However, parties did not articulate any strategic youth agenda or plan for achieving youth development in
when they assume government, nor did they articulate how they intend to include young people in decision and policy making processes. Nigeria
- Most parties reiterated the importance education plays in nation building and pledged improvement in the education sector, including restructuring the NYSC. However, manifestos did not articulate clear vision and objectives for this sector, i.e, curriculum review, clear plans for technical/vocational education among others, how to double the number of admission opportunities into universities annually, plans for students who do not secure admission etc.
- Most party manifestos also agreed that job creation and poverty reduction are major challenges facing the
nation, especially young people. Again parties made promises to create job and reduce poverty without showing how the jobs shall be created, which sectors shall create the jobs, or how many jobs shall be created annually. Nigeria
- Majority of the party Manifestos did not articulate how they intend to pursue the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and NEEDS especially in relation to young people’s issues and their involvement in the process.
- Majority of the parities did not commit to sustain the fight against corruption. Most of the parties did not show interest in the idea of character development, values, ethics and leadership as a core area of focus for nation building.
In general, participants are of the view that political parties deliberately produced manifestos that are specific, measurable and time bond, so that when they don’t perform up to expectation when in government, citizens cannot use their manifestos against them.
In view of the above, the participants made far reaching recommendations which also includes what youths feel are key issues the next government needs to give priority in addressing youth development in
1.POWER GENERATION: That the next government must move
- ACCELERATING YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE: To accelerate youth development and to better harness the dynamic potentials of young people for nation building involves more than education and football (sports), youths recommend that: After Handover on May 29th, 2007, a National Youth Forum be convened with the view of harnessing the inputs of young people in formulating a broad based and youth owned national youth agenda 2008 – 2011.
That the newly created Federal Ministry of Youth Development must be maintained by the new government and be adequately funded to carry out strategic youth development programs for Nigerian youths.
If necessary, there should be a national legislation mandating all the 36 states including the FCT to create a separate ministry of Youth Development not attached to sports or women, to operate solely for the purpose of youth programs at the state levels.
The Minister for the Federal Ministry of Youth Development should be below the ages of 35years, and the position should be through application. Adverts should be placed on national newspapers and youth based online networks for suitably qualified youths who must have been involved in youth work for a minimum of 5 years to apply. The recruitment / selection board should comprise of representatives from the federal youth ministry, development partners, private sectors, young people and respected leaders in society.
The National Youth Policy Document Review which is overdue should be reviewed with broad based participation of young people at all levels of the review. Moreso, the document should be widely circulated in every school, youth organization / associations, and libraries among others.
That all umbrella bodies of youth organizations like National Youth Council of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Students, Man O’ War, should be restructured and made more democratic, accountable and representational of their youth constituencies.
That a legislation be made to back the creation of a national youth parliament as a platform that enables young people to make inputs and participate in national development issues from the grassroots, vis-à-vis complimenting the National Youth Council of Nigeria. That Legislation be made to back the establishment of a National Youth Fund, which shall be managed by adults, young people and including respectable persons from the private sector. The Fund is to facilitate some of the following:
That Legislation be made to back the establishment of a National Youth Fund, which shall be managed by adults, young people and including respectable persons from the private sector. The Fund is to facilitate some of the following:
(a) Micro-credit facilities for young entrepreneurs.
(b) Grants to proposal for projects from youth organizations
(c) Participation of
(d) Special Projects like Youth Festival, Summer Camps, capacity building training among others
That a Review of the 1999 Constitution, especially in the area of who can contest for elective post. Youths demand that the qualification for elective posts should be such that all persons who can vote automatically qualify to be voted for.
3.EDUCATION: Youths recommend the implementation of a Free and Compulsory Education for every child within school age up to Secondary Education. This needs to be backed with legislation to make it illegal for children of school age to be denied education.
The recent scrapping of Polytechnic Education should be reversed considering the role polytechnics can play in technology development if well funded and structured.
Youths also recommend as a matter of national urgency, a review of our current educational curriculum to be more interactive/inventive; so that our institutions can graduate more of job creators, technical persons and inventors to move the country forward.
Teachers welfare, training and provision of adequate infrastructure should be improved on as a matter of urgency
4. Job Creation: youths commends the efforts of the current administration in job creation and recommends that the next government must deliberately pursue industrialization and local content as a way of creating more jobs.
Moreso, the process of diversifying the economy has had tremendous benefits and much more jobs could be created if areas like agriculture, tourism, solid minerals among others are fully supported to grow.
The Small and Medium Scale Enterprise and NAPEP among others should have be further encouraged to focus more on programs and offers that shall identify, empower and grow many more young entrepreneurs into big time entrepreneurs, industrialists and large employers of labour.
- Information Communication Technology: bearing in mind that we are in an information technology driven age, youths recommend that Youth ICT Villages or Academies be set up in every state of
to harness the potentials of young people, to also financially empower them financially and earn the nation foreign exchange in the nearest future. Nigeria
Annual Young ICT Competitions and Exhibitions should be organized to further boost the participation of young in the sector growth in
- FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION /
CHARACTER AND ETHICS: That the fight against corruption must be sustained and that all agencies involved in the fight against corruption like ICPC, EFCC and all other related agencies should be sustained and further strengthened to be autonomous to perform effectively. CAMPAIGN ON
That a national campaign on character, values, ethics and leadership should be initiated and agencies such as the National Orientation Agency be further strengthened and funded to be the at the forefront of this campaign for ethics and moral values in all aspect of our national live.
INEC and the 2007 Elections: There is no doubt that this is a very important period in the history of our nation hence our appeal for all and sundry to get involved to make this nation the true giant of
We also like to appeal to political parties and candidates to demonstrate political sportsmanship as election is not a do or die affair.
And to the youths, we must shun political thuggery and election violence. Our power is in our Votes……lets all step out and vote wisely and shun every form of corruption and violence and let
We believe in
Long live the federal
Long live responsible Nigerian youths!Long live African union!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Please share this information now!
Introduction and Preliminaries
The study of democracy as a social action: Democracy is today more than mere academic exercise; itâ€™s a social action, hence the involvement of youngsters.
Also, the struggle for democracy is now an important factor in practical politics around the world, and will continue to be so.
History is one way we come to grips with important ideas and phenomena. The purpose is met therefore that our discussion should start with history
Democracy is government of, by, and for the people. It is government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate.
Constitutionalism, as a concept, refers to the idea that government can and should be legally limited in its powers, and that its authority depends on its observing these limitations.
â€œPower corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutelyâ€! Constitutional democracy is the antithesis of arbitrary rule.
Constitutional democracy is characterized by three key principles:
-Majority rule and minority rights
History of Democracy
The challenges of discussing â€˜History of Democracyâ€™
High expectations on the part of both skeptics and would-be true believers.
â€œReaders will want a historian of democracy not only to show the use of democratic techniques in the past, or demonstrate the existence of democratic values in past societies, or trace the development of democratic institutions in recent timesâ€.
Historians will have to do more: find perfect democratic societies in the past, or admit that the history of democracy is a mirage, because democracy has never existed.
â€¦yet history is importantâ€¦.as guide!
History of democracy is the history of struggles of the people against class oppression and domination.
Advent of Democracy in Nigeria
-Allinace of the Military and Civilians
-Is Nigeria Democratizing?
What is the advent of democracy in your country???
Is democracy feasible in Nigeria
Structures and Institutions for Democratization
The Social Conditions
Agents of Democratic Transitions â€“ Civil Society
The Role of the Youths
What your country?
Why your country?
How your country?
When your country?
Where your country?
Theories of Democracy
Concetual and housekeeping issues
Democracy is government of, by, and for the people. It is government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate.
Constitutionalism refers to the idea that government can and should be legally limited in its powers, and that its authority depends on its observing these limitations.
â€¢Constitutional democracy is characterized by three key principles:
-Majority rule and minority rights
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutelyâ€
Rule of Law & Separation of Powers
The principle and practice of modern democracy is further strengthened by ROL and and the doctrine of â€œseparation of powersâ€/â€œchecks and balanceâ€.
Related to the practice of democratic governance: First, is that powers should be separated and shared. All above is summed up in the principles of â€œseparation of powersâ€ and â€œchecks and balanceâ€ logically sum up the above principles. What these principles translate to in practical governance is worth exploring.
First is that powers should be separated and shared. That is, in a constitutional democracy powers should be separated among different agencies or branches of government.
Secondly, different agencies or branches of government should have adequate power to check the powers of other branches. Checks and balances may include the power of judicial review. The courts, in a constitutional democracy, should have the power to declare actions of other branches of government to be contrary to the constitution and therefore null and void.
Thirdly, due process of law should be ensured. That is, individual rights to life, liberty, and property are protected by the guarantee of due process of law.
Fourthly, in a constitutional democracy political succession is through elections. Elections insure that key positions in government will be contested at periodic intervals and that the transfer of governmental authority is accomplished in a peaceful and orderly process. A peep into post-colonial Nigerian history reveals untidy interactions with these principles. Thirdly, due process of law should be ensured. That is, individual rights to life, liberty, and property are protected by the guarantee of due process of law. Fourthly, in a constitutional democracy political succession is through elections. Elections insure that key positions in government will be contested at periodic intervals and that the transfer of governmental authority is accomplished in a peaceful and orderly process. A peep into post-colonial Nigerian history reveals untidy interactions with these principles.
â€¢Political process is the means by which power is allocated to control social decision-making and thereby the distribution of information, material wealth, and other values. The political problem, of course, is how best to accomplish this. The democratic solution to the political problem is to distribute power and information equally among all people by means of a decision-making process that incorporates everyone's views. The democratic dilemma is that no such system is perfectly consistent with its own values. The democratic miracle is that it can work anyway--not as a perfect system but as the best system under almost all conditions.
â€¢There are degrees and stages in the evolution of democracy, however, and generally speaking we are probably at an intermediate level in the development of democratic political systems.
When Government Works
When a thing is said to work, it also means that its possible not to work.
Governance deals with how government or organization control its actions. The idea is to achieve a stated outcome.
The essence of governance is to make things better.
(outside-in approach people expectation)
We will take our analysis around certain indications and compare them among â€œDevelopedâ€ and â€œDevelopingâ€ countries.
The indicators are:
The Richest and The Poorest
The Britannica book of the year 2005 highlighted Nine Richest countries; this comparism is based on its male life expectancy and literacy level.
lNINE RICHEST COUNTRIES
Life expectancy (yrs) Literacy (%)
lBelgium _______ 75.1 __________ 100
Canada ________ 76.4 ___________ 96.6
Denmark ________ 74.9 ___________ 100
Iceland ________ 78.4 ___________ 100
Japan ________ 78.4 ___________ 100
Luxembourg _____ 79.4 ___________ 100
Norway ________ 76.5 ___________ 100
Switzerland _______ 77.7 ____________ 100
United States ______ 74.4 ____________ 95.5
The Eighteen Poorest country
Male expectancy yrs Literacy
lBenin 50.4 37.5
Burkina Faso 43 23
Burundi 42.5 48.1
Chad 47 53.6
Congo Rep 49 80.7
Ethiopia 47.3 38.7
Guinea Bissau 45.1 80.2
Madagascar 53.8 80.2
Malawi 37.6 60.3
Mali 44.7 40.3
Mozambique 38.9 43.8
Niger 42.3 15.7
Nigeria 50.9 64.1
Rwanda 45.3 67
Sierra Leone 40.3 36.3
Tanzania 43.3 75.2
Yemen 59.2 46.
Zambia 35.3 78
(A poor man has no friend)
This is a glaring indicator when it comes to indicators that show whether governance is working or not. There is the concept of absolute poverty as well as relative poverty.
Social definition of poverty: A tack of essential items like shelter, food, rather clothing.
About 1.1Billion people line on less than $1 a day while 2.7 billion live on less than $ 2 a day.
In sub-Saharan Africa 50% of the people live on less than $ 1a day and of the 48 poorest countries of the world 32 are in Africa. Unlike Latin America only 11% live on less than $11,Southeast Asia 37%, Eastern Asia 17%.
Africa is plague by conflicts without functional governance, since 1982 improvised people doubled.
Health care is seriously limited, whereas the richest countries beast on 1 physician for every 242 to 539 inhabitants, the 18 poorest countries fall far behind with just 1 physician for every 3707 to 49118 of their citizen.
Yet 70000 professionals live Africa including medical Doctors (in fact there are about 10000 Nigerians medical doctors in the USA).
HIV/Malaria are major problems in sub-Saharan Africa. With no new HIV/AIDS in USA and almost eliminated malaria, Nigeria alone has 3.5 million people living with HIV (like the whole population of plateau state) In Africa we are estimating 28.5 million with 12million children orphaned throughout the continent as a result of both parents dying from HIV/AIDS.
Infant Mortality Rate
This measures the number of infants who die per 1,0000 live births before their first birthday, is a good indicator to measure the health of the nation since children are the most vulnerable. In Africa is between 103 to 85 in 1000 live births â€œunder 5â€measure those who die before their 5th birthday standing at 148 in 1000 (almost 15%) from malnutrition.
Malnutrition-At least 11 million children die in developing countries yearly (not Africa alone) While in developed nations spending on food for a day is $10 while in developing nations mostly sub-Saharan Africa is 29 cents.
Hunger-About 852 millions do not receive enough food of this number of people 2.14 millions people chronologically malnourished.
-Where governance works the issue usually how to contain excess sugar and fats.
The Africa World
In 2004, of the 30 least livable countries 28 are in Africa and all of the 28 are in the sub-Saharan Africa-could we being cursed?
Despite all the â€œnegativesâ€ about Africa, Africa is a continent with unimaginable abundance.
Africa is the second largest continent on earth second only to Asia, Her land mass covers 30,22,000sq kilometers, which is 22.3%of the world total land area.
The Sahara desert alone, home to seven African nations, represents approximately 6% of earth total land area. Africa is larger than the combinable land mass of China, India, western Europe, Argentina, New Zealand and the continental United states- with a population of 3.3 billion or 54% of the worlds population Unlike Africa layer in land mass with only 874 million people 14%-What does it tell you about Governance in Africa, Zambia Zimbabwe and Congo have the potential to feed the entire continent.
Water-it has the greatest rivers in the world, Nile, Congo, Niger and Zambezi. The Nile the longest in the world has a basin that covers 80% of the continent.
Minerals-90% of cobalt
85% of platinum
50% of the gold
Tantalite/columbine-circuit boards of computers and laptops, telephone.
Congo largest supply of radium used in the treatment of cancer.
Energy â€“it has 40% of electric potential
7% of worlds proven oil reserves
7% of worlds proven gas reserves
6% of worlds proven Coal reserves
No doubt colonialism affected Africa, but many of the worlds richest countries were former colonies. E.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong. While some of empowered nations were never colonized. Afghanistan, Thailand, Ethiopia etc. But also rampantly developing Asia countries achieved independence from their former European colonizers as the same time as many African countries e.g. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Today Singapore is one of the wealthiest nation in the world.
Africa American Walter Withans argues this way
'Before independence, Every African country was self-sufficient in food production today most depend on imports and other stand at the brink of famine. At the time of independence, the average growth rate among Africa countries was 3% by 1980 it has fallen to 1% by 1990, a negative 2.8%
Lack of Natural resources
The truth we must hold about resources is that they are actually product of human creativity E.g. crude oil was nothing of importance until human creativity found productive and economically in creative uses.
Human ingenuity and creativity are the keys that unlock,
Take this example. Somalia and Japan both do not have natural resources; Japan also has 26 times population density of Somalia. Today Japan is wealthy, Somalia simply existing.
Take Congo (perhaps the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources)
And Holland is relatively rich in natural resources. Congo has 18 times less population of Holland. If there is a correlation between economic prosperity and natural resource who do you think should be richer?
The Cold War
The cold war between the two super powers USA and Soviet Union has been highlighted by some African leaders as a reason for our poor state. But the battle ground was in Asia, not Africa countries like Korea and Vietnam were war almost eliminated Korea is developed, Vietnam is making progress
Adequate Foreign Aids
Between 1980-1988, sub -Saharan Africa received $83 billion dollars in foreign Aid, yet living standards and GDP declined at the same period in the region. As for its debt burden - in '98 Western nations wrote off $50 billion in African debt, nearly as much as the World Bank loaned it in the prior 50 years, and in '05 another $40 billion was canceled.
With all its large mass of land under- utilized some leaders postulate this reason (over-population) for our poor state. Taiwan has 5 times population density of over- crowded China, Hong Kong has 45 times the population density of the China-Yet people prefer to live in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Multi “racial Switzerland once was walked with ethnic division but today, the German, French, Italian and Romanish Swiss live together harmoniously â€“this should be a model
Yet, just like tribalism is a major problem. Yet Richburg make distinction between productive corruption and malignant corruption.
Must people see Africa as poor, including Africans but history shows that the pre-industrial Europe was vastly poorer than contemporary Africa.
Yes people talk about this, but we forget that the leadership of a nation is born from the people. So the people deserve the kind of leadership they get
Pillars of Good Governance
The rule of law
Visionary leadership-thinking of the next generation.
Transparency and accountability
Patriotism-elected/appointed with the mindset of â€œits about the good of the societyâ€
Feed back barometer
Fair representation/collective responsibility