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‘Adolescent Parliament’ implores government to complete abandoned Bono Regional Library


The Sunyani Municipal ‘Adolescent Parliament’ has called on the government to expedite action for work to resume on the abandoned Bono Regional Library complex in Sunyani.

The Global Media Foundation (GloMeF), a media advocacy non-government organisation (NGO) inaugurated the ‘parliament’ under the Resilient City for Adolescents (RC4A) project it is implementing in the Municipality.

GloMeF is non-profit organisation, which specialises in the usage of social, and behaviour change communication, right and evidence-based research approaches to facilitate inclusive development programmes targeting young people, women, children and other vulnerable groups

in the society.

At its maiden parliamentary session held in Sunyani, the 23-member house expressed worry that work on the project, being funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) had stalled and abandoned for years to continuously deteriorate.

The ‘Adolescent Parliament’ identifies and helps to tackle the pressing developmental needs of young people
in the Sunyani Municipality, and accordingly elected 19 parliamentarians from the

localities in the Municipality.

They lead the adolescent movement and give them a voice in the decision-making process, as part of the implementation of the RC4A project, expected to directly benefit 1,500 and indirectly reach out to 3000 boys and girls.

The Swiss Botnar Foundation under its Resilient City for Adolescents Initiative is funding the implementation of the 300,000-pound sterling project, which seeks to improve the lives of adolescents in the country.

After an extensive debate on the floor of ‘parliament’ both the majority and minority sides admitted the construction of the library was long overdue, and the government ought to expedite action for its resumption and completion for use.

Master Daniel Frimpong, the ‘Speaker’ of the ‘Adolescent Parliament’ and a student of the Abesim St James Seminary/Senior High School observed library played significant role in the lives of the adolescent, and thus described the s
ituation as unfortunate for the GETFund and successive

governments to leave it to rot.

‘In fact, all the stakeholders, including parents, the government, Ghana Library Authority, GETFund have failed us because the library plays an essential role in promoting literacy, accessing information and aids research work’, he stated.

‘We need the regional library to advance our learning and reading skills and it is imperative as it is for the government and all stakeholders to ensure that our educational needs as children and

adolescents are met to enhance our academic performance in school,’ the ‘Speaker’ stated.

Throwing more light on RC4A project, Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GloMeF noted though Ghana was the first country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, many adolescent boys and girls were still denied some basic rights and privileges.

Besides, he indicated the African Union Conventions and Protocols on the Rights and Responsibility of
the Child as well as the Children Act required young people access to shelter, food, quality health and participation in decision-making.

Mr. Ahenu said it was therefore imperative for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to capture and address the needs of adolescent people in their four-year medium development plans.

‘The adolescent parliament is not geared towards inciting or instigating young people, but rather, to ensure their voices are heard in the decision-making process at the local levels,’ he stated.

Under the ‘Adolescent Parliament’, Mr Ahenu said the project was also empowering vulnerable adolescent boys and girls with employable skills training, career development and digital innovation programmes.

He said about 45 of them between 13 and 21 years would benefit from the digital innovation programme while 15 of them would also be enrolled in the skills training which covered dressing making, hairdressing, body makeups, manicure and pedicure.

Meanwhile, checks by the Ghana News
Agency (GNA) showed the construction of the Bono Regional Library was initiated in 2003, by the late Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah, the then Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East and under the former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s

government.

Further checks revealed work on that project, initially scheduled to be completed within 18 months, had been re-awarded to more than three different contractors.

The site is located near the Catering Rest House, covering an acre of land and on completion the 600-seater-capacity library would have children’s reference and lending libraries, information and communications technology centre, conference rooms and a secretariat.

During a visit, the GNA noticed the reading rooms of the two-storey uncompleted building had been completed and were serving as the main library.

But, it had limited space and broken glass doors, obsolete tables and chairs not convenient for children and adolescents.

A source at the Ghana Library Authority told the GNA that an assessment report
revealed more than GhC2.5 million was required to complete the project for use.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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