The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) has trained selected 40 young people across the country on youth participation in becoming young social policy influencers.

The youth participation training dubbed ‘Youth Policy Influencers Training Workshop’ is to train young people to be interested in social issues and also offer them what it takes to participate in social policies.

The training sponsored by OXFAM is aimed at harnessing the energies of social media influencers into social policies for youth development.

“The whole idea of this training is to give young people the capacity to influence social policies, especially those that matter to young people and their development. With regards to education, their health, their employment, their security, safety and job opportunities. As well as things that are of interest to young people and of course accountability and development in general.

“So, the idea is also to redirect and refocus the energies of young social media influencers into social policy issues,” the Executive Director for FOSDA, Theodora W. Anti explained in an interview with Starr News.

According to her, the training is part of FOSDA’s Ghana Youth Development Project which is aimed at mobilizing young people and strengthening their voice for advocacy.

“This is just another step of mobilization of young people and strengthening their voices and this time it is to enhance their skill set for policy influencing. So, at the end of the day, we are giving them training on social media branding.

“How they will brand themselves and use social media to sell their message. How they can create content and how they can reach their target and how they can influence social policies. At the end of the day, we are expecting that these young people become social policy influencers. From here they will take specific policy areas they want to influence and develop plans on how they want to influence those specific social policies. Especially through social media and engagement to duty bearers,” Madam Anti stated.

She further explained that this era is a fast-growing digitization and social media period with little or no jobs for the youth due to Ghana’s economic woes adding that the young person will wish to ride on these opportunities to cause youth development and employment.

“This is very critical and important in this era due to the economic downturns, there is a lot of tension in the system and people are becoming very aggressive and all that. So, we hope that this would help young people to channel their grievances and not to pick up arms or not to fight. But use their social media power to get themselves heard and to also get duty bearers to do what they are proposing or what they are calling for.

“So, we hope by this we will minimize aggressions, agitations and get young people to talk more and redirect their energies. This is also very important in this era of technology and in this era of the booming social media platforms,” she added.

Source: Ghana/ Mensah