The Youth Parliament has been put into place a couple of years ago and aims at letting communities experience democratic processes such as the parliament sessions first hand and involving youth into these processes early on. Since the parliament consists of about 50 young adults, sessions take place on the week-ends so the MPs don’t have to go to school or work.
The sessions follow the same procedure as the sessions of the national parliament in Accra, including standing up when the speaker enters the room (in case of outdoor sessions one has to imagine the door). Sessions are held in the local language so the members of the community can follow and participate in the discussion.
Session topic is selected with direct implications for the members of the community. For example, at one session the question was raised whether the government or NGOs and other institutions were responsible for drinking water supply. Water shortage is a serious problem during the dry season since pumps installed by major NGOs don’t suffice and people have to resort to contaminated water.
After one hour of discussion the members of the community get the chance to express their opinions on the topic. Furthermore, a district representative of the government is invited to the session to answer questions of parliament and members of the community. Unfortunately, these representatives cancel quite often. However, the results and resolutions of the session are always put into writing and transmitted to the appropriate authority which has already led to improvements in the daily life of communities.