The Savannah Regional Youth Network (SRYN) has been inaugurated to champion and coordinate youth development-related activities in the region and advocate against ills in society.

The SRYN, as part of its activities, will provide relevant and conducive environment that defines and supports the implementation of policies that will help promote effective frontline youth empowerment practices, focusing on young people’s participation in socio-economic and political development and other related issues that seek to promote development in all sectors of the nation.

The inauguration of the SRYN followed the successful formation of Municipal and District Youth Networks in all the seven Municipal and District Assemblies in the region namely Bole, Central Gonja, North East Gonja, North Gonja, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, East Gonja, and West Gonja.

The inauguration of the SRYN was championed by the Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development (CALID), a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation, with funding support from OXFAM in Ghana.

Mr Mohammed Awal Sumani Bapio, Executive Director for CALID, who spoke during the inauguration of the SRYN at Damongo, the regional capital, said henceforth, all youth groups in the various assemblies in the region would now fall under one umbrella to advocate for development with a common voice as an SRYN.

Mr Bapio said, “Youth groups will now see themselves as one, fight the challenges together with the duty-bearers. They need to challenge bad policies, fight to improve sectors such as education, environment, roads construction, health, water and sanitation, job creation, among others.”

He spoke about some of the challenges confronting the region that the youth must focus on saying, “The illegal logging and commercial charcoal production menace, fallen standards of education, poor roads network, unemployment amongst others affect people in the area. The youth will need to get closer to authorities, find out why the area is recording the poor results from schools, and then proffer solutions to arrest the situation.”

He appealed to the general public to support the SRYN to fight against bad policies by duty-bearers in the region saying, “The public must listen to the Youth Network and explain issues to them for a better future. The Youth Network is not a political or religious or tribal body. It exists to fight for the common good of society.”

Mr Wumbei Dukurugu Kamel Deen, Youth Education and Gender Manager at OXFAM in Ghana urged the youth, “to be mindful of politicians or bad leaders, who might infiltrate you”, adding, “Under no circumstance should you allow yourselves to be bought for the selfish interest of others.”

Seidu Hunaisah, Secretary of SRYN, on behalf of the Network, expressed gratitude to all assuring that the leadership of the Network would put in place necessary measures for effective take off, and called for support from all the youth groups across the region to help the area overcome its challenges.

Speaking to Bole based Nkilgi FM Karim Inusah, Deputy Convener of SRYN appealed to the public to accept the Network and help proffer ideas to help the region surmount its challenges assuring that the Network would remain focused and work towards achieving a better future for the area.

There were solidarity messages delivered by representatives of OXFAM in Ghana, YEFL-GHANA, Damongo Youth Parliament, the National Youth Authority, and the Northern Regional Youth Network.