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Youth participation key to building a resilient economy

By: Gifty Owusu Kwarteng
Ms Stephanie Sullivan
Ms Stephanie Sullivan

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Stephanie  Sullivan, has said that youth participation is vital to development and can contribute to sustainable investment to end cycles of poverty.

She explained that involving the youth would help build resilient democratic societies, improve health and nutrition outcomes, as well as strengthen the  economy.

Speaking at the premiere of YOLO TV series on May 1 in Accra, Ms  Sullivan stated that the United State (US) had supported behaviour change activities in Ghana for over 20 years encouraging Ghanaians, including young people in particular, to undertake positive changes so that even though “you only live once,” that life will be the best it can.  

 She stated that since 2016, the United States government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had worked with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the National Population Council (NPC) and had provided financial support to produce the YOLO series.

“Under the “Good Life, Live it Well” campaign, USAID worked with the GHS  and the NPC to produce the YOLO series,  including financial support,” she said.

She explained that the series was part of the “Good Life, Live it Well” campaign to promote positive health behaviour in a wide variety of health areas to include reproductive health, malaria prevention and nutrition through both traditional and digital media.

She, however, commended the government of Ghana, its agencies and their partners for making adolescent health a priority.
“I would like to commend the government of Ghana,especially the NPC, GHS, and their media partners for their leadership in making adolescent health a priority,” she added. 

Good Life, Live it Well Campaign
Ms Sullivan indicated that over 50 per cent of Ghanaians were under the age 25, which showed that young people did not have ready access to health information and services, including sexual and reproductive health.

She stated that as part of efforts to close these information gap, the US through her agency for International Development (USAID) teamed up with the Ghana Health Service to develop and launch the Good Life, Live it Well campaign.

She said that using both traditional and digital media, the campaign promoted positive health behaviours including reproductive health, malaria prevention and nutrition.

She added the campaign was also aimed at encouraging self-reflection about what makes life “good” and links personal happiness and the “good life” to healthy behaviours.

About YOLO
The YOLO TV series was launched in 2015 by the National Population Council with the aim to educate the youth on healthy reproductive behaviour and equip them with skills to deal with peer pressure and the other challenges that affect their everyday lives. The series has millions of viewers in Ghana and around the world including Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United states.