Hon Habib Iddrisu
October 17, 2022

Member of Parliament (MP) for Tolon, Habib Iddrisu said young parliamentarians in Ghana’s legislature have proven their worth in the current eighth (8) Parliament and it’s only right that Ghanaians appreciate this and give them the opportunity to serve.

“I am one of them under forty and a leader in Parliament; there are a lot of people who are young but deputy ministers, Samuel Abu Jinapor who is a Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Francis Asenso-Boakye and others, they have been able to prove themselves, by handling themselves very well. Therefore justifying why they were selected, if you look at the set up in Parliament you would notice the young people are doing very well”.

Ghana’s delegation at 145th IPU Assembly in Rwanda

He made this remarks in an interview where he participated in the just ended young parliamentarians’ forum in Rwanda Kigali at the 145th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union where he was selected to be part of the organizing Committee of the forum. According to him a careful look at the demography in Ghana, young people are within the ages of 18, 40 and 45 as they constitute sixty-eight (68) percent of those who voted in the 2020 elections which means; “we have a voice and we need to encourage political parties especially the front-line political parties in parliament to be able to come out with a mechanism and policy to be able to support the youth.

I know that for the NPP with the opening of nomination if you are under 40 applying for nomination to file, you pay fifty percent of the amount”. The Tolon MP further noted that, he thinks more needs to be done, so that for instance – constituencies would be earmarked that, “we need this number of young ones and every political party should prepare a young person under forty (40). If both parties NPP and NDC want to win they should present candidates under forty and that would help us.
Touching on his participation at young parliamentary forum, he noted that Ghana has equally young MPs but the only thing is that they are not many and if the youth can be encouraged to participate in politics, then there would be more representation in parliament. He pointed out that whiles at IPU in Rwanda, he came across colleagues MP who are aged nineteen (19), twenty one (21) twenty-two (22) who are all members of Parliament representing various countries and constituencies.

And also added that there is a similar young age Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East Francisca Oteng-Mensah and as much as more women participation is being encouraged, same support should be extended to young people. “It does not limit you to only the males, if you are young and a woman, you are still within the bracket. Today we presented the report of the young parliamentarians, we were talking about say yes to youth in parliament. We had a campaign, we were looking for hundred people to endorse it; we ended up getting three hundred people and that campaign is something we need to carry out in Ghana and encourage young people. Political parties should be able to protect young people that they can have a representation in Ghana”.

And the theme of the Assembly which has to do with gender and we should encourage the gender sensitive aspect of it. There are other African countries who are learning from this. In Tanzania there are forty seats mainly for women that only women would contest those seats. In Ghana both major parties have 20:20 seats in Parliament. But in Tanzania, women are allowed to contest all available seats, and if you win, you win on your merit; but there are still forty seats reserved for women.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com /Rwanda/Kigali