African youth demand stiffer punishment for corrupt officials

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – Delegates at the just ended 11th African Youth and Governance Convergence (AYGC) have called on African governments to demonstrate strong commitment to the fight against corruption.

    The youth are deeply concerned about the pervasive nature of corruption leading to massive diversion and siphoning of state resources for investment in social infrastructure, education and professional training.

    They, therefore, urged governments to swiftly initiate criminal prosecution and stiffer punishments including longer jail terms and confiscation of assets of corrupt officials.

    The AYGC was organised by the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) in collaboration with the National Youth Authority (NYA).

    It was attended by about 140 youths (120 delegates and 20 Committee Chair-Persons) from 32 African countries and the Diaspora.
    They were to critically assess the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 under the theme: “Partnership for Youth Development, Key Building Africa beyond Aid”.
    The youth recommended for the creation of independent regional anti-corruption bodies and effective coordination of their activities where member states served as checks and balances on each other.
    They emphasised community forums to discuss governmental institutions and hold duty bearers accountable for transparency.
    They called on all stakeholders, including the youth, legal officers, law enforcement officers and politicians to be actively involved in the discussions and solutions to eradicate the incidence of selective justice.
    Concerned about the ignorance of institutionalised systems to address challenges in the legal sector, the youth further admonished African governments to focus on Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms to ensure speedy and effective delivery of justice.
    Mr Seth Oteng, the Executive Director for Youth Bridge Foundation, explained that the AYGC had since its inception in 2009 served as an important platform for grooming young people in Africa and the Diaspora on leadership and community impact among other topics.

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