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Report on the commemoration of IYD 2020 by the ONCI and its partners

Thursday 20th August, 2020

REPORT

ON THE MAIDEN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY COMMEMMORATION BY OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL CHIEF IMAM OF GHANA ON 12TH AUGUST 2020

12th August, 2020 marked the International Youth Day (IYD) which is being celebrated by most countries around the World.

The Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) hosted Muslims Youth at its maiden program to commemorate the International Youth Day (IYD) 2020 at the residence of His Eminence the National Chief Imam of Ghana at Fadama, Accra. The program attracted many Muslim youth led organizations with women constituting about sixty (60) percent of the participants within the Greater Accra region, the capital city of Ghana.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Marzuk Abubakar Azindoo moderated the program with the support of Miss Aisha Abdullahi as the master of ceremony.

Mr. Ismael Alfaraj gave the opening prayer with the recitation of Quranic verses relating to the development of youth and Muslim communities. The recitation was done in melodious ways to entertain the gathering at the same time.

The director for youth development and interfaith programs of the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana (ONCI) Mr. Alhaji Khuzaima  Mohammed Osman welcomed the participants and indicated in his remarks that

1. This particular program was of significance to His Eminence the National Chief Imam of Ghana because it relates and addresses issues concerning the development of Muslim youth.

2. The ONCI decided to host this program because it has adopted a policy that places the youth at the centre of its operations and strategy. The youth plays critical areas and take critical component of the ONCI master strategies of transforming the activities and programs of the Office and by extension the Muslim community.

3. The ONCI needs and will be relying on the support and collaboration of the youth to thrive and provide services to the Muslim and Zango communities.

4. The ONCI seeks the support of the youth present to become special ambassadors of change in the Muslim communities and ambassadors of the ONCI as the office struggles to recruit new staff to augment and replenish the old staff who passed on and those who are ageing.

5. The ONCI currently maintains only 7 permanent staff and 5 of them are on part time basis with the exception of the Executive Secretary and the Administrator working as full time without salaries.  

Alhaji Khuzaima Osman expressed his special recognition and gratitude to His Excellency the Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia for his support to the program and foreseeing to the success of this event.

He remarked that His Excellency the Vice President having learnt about the program just this morning voluntarily asked that he will take care of the entire cost of the program to show his passion, dedication and determination to the course of developing the Youth of Ghana especially the Zango youth who are seen largely as trying to catch up to other youth groups of the Ghanaian society.

Alhaji Khuzaima Osman also extended the gratitude of the ONCI to other donors to the program and they are the Zakat and Sadaqa Trust Fund of Ghana (ZSTF) and the Gadangme Muslim Council (GMC).

Alhaji Khuzaima Osman introduced the moderator of the event in the person of Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Marzuq Abubakar Azindoo, a research officer of IPASEC, lecturer at the University of Applied Management and Director of Communications of the ONCI.

The master of ceremony, Miss Aisha Abdullah, introduced the panelists as the moderator took his seat and they are Madam Asmau Mohammed, Mr. Mohammed Mahfuz Bashir (poet), Mr. Mohammed Adnan Ahmed (president of care bridge foundation) and Hon. Rabiu Maude (President of Zongo Inspiration Team).

Madam Asmau gave her submission on how to make the youth of today a powerful tool for the future of Ghana. She remarked that 

1. Instilling discipline in the youth is a key component in making them a powerful tool for the future.

2. if the youth are well disciplined, it promote peace, unity and stability, hence leading to the development of our communities and the country as a whole.

Mr. Mohammed Adnan Ahmed gave his submissions on how to mobilize the youth to serve as a productive “fitha” (youth) and not destructive “fitna” (problems). He remarked that

1. the youth is an important segment of the population that needs greater attention. 

2. providing the youth with either formal, informal or non-formal education is key to their upbringing.

3. parents should be good role models for their wards at home and the community as a whole.

4. parents should provide good formal education for their wards to ensure they attain professional knowledge or provide them with non-formal education where they can learn a trade to make them useful in the community.

The panel went on a short break between which a young poet, Miss Farida Mohammed gave a short poetry on the Zango Girl.

The second round of the sitting was focused on education and all the four panelists gave out constructive submissions on the importance of education in our communities both formal and informal to the development of our country Ghana.

They argued on the need for our educational system to be restructured from learning to pass an exam to imparting knowledge in the students in other to have competent graduates in the country.

Hon. Rabiu Maude, the President of the Zongo Inspiration Team, also remarked that in reference to the comment made by former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama on his visit to Ghana that "Africa does not need strong men but rather strong institutions".

Mr. Rabiu remarked that

1. building strong institutions require a lot of high moral and ethical values. When we have strong leadership, through their action and inaction, they will ensure those rights, ethics and morals are passed onto those after them, and from generation to generation.

2. It is also important to see our problems as a collective one such that your child is that of the community.

3. It is incumbent upon us to have a bigger review of our perspectives where we will have each and everybody by one another’s side and everybody’s success is tapped into one another’s, there we can ensure that everybody is on the same page and together we will be successful.

Mr. Mohammed Mahfuz Bashir (poet) commented on the point of views of the zango youth on the rising of indiscipline in contemporary society. He remarked that

zango is unique with different tribal affiliations of different people from different walks of life, and this influences the behavior of the youth in positive or negative ways.

To find a long lasting solution to this problem for the zango community, Mr. Mahfuz opined that:

1. There is a need to be a strong family system that ensures that children have good moral upbringing so they do not go wayward from the unique norms of the society

2. There needs to be a reformed Makaranta (traditional system of Islamic education the Zangos) system of education so that children will be well enlightened. This will sharpen and guide them in becoming responsible adults rather than a burden to the society. The Makaranta system of education over the past decades has lost its values as there are no proper incentives to teachers who are responsible for training and enlightening the youth.

3. Community values: Our collective selves make up the communities in which we live in and we must therefore portray good traits to be enviable examples worthy of emulation to the young ones. Children are likely to emulate what they see around them. It is therefore the responsibility of adults to comport themselves in public space to be good example to the youth.

4. To solve the problem of rising indiscipline in contemporary society, it is a collective responsibility of parents, guardians, children, and communities to champion the course of discipline both at home and in our communities.

5. We should be the change we want to see.

COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

The audience was given an opportunity to express their views and ask relevant questions or suggestions pertaining to the program.

The head and manager of the Read Camp initiative by the Mother of All Nations foundation, Mr. Ishaq Zico  remarked that the Office of the National Chief Imam needs to have a counseling unit for young boys and girls and read and boot camp initiatives must be emulated and replicated in other zango communities to encourage reading and learning.

Some other important comments from the audience are as follows;

1. There is a need for the ONCI to replicate similar programs in other parts of the country.

2. There is a need for the ONCI to institutionalize youth and women activities, programs and a special unit to deal and tackle women and girl child programs and empowerment.

3. Parents ought to be rolled into activities of the ONCI to appreciate the works that children do and the works of the ONCI.

4. ONCI should be rationing its activities not centralizing it in Accra and at the residence of His Eminence.

5. Upbringing and instilling moral behaviors into children and young people is not only the responsibility of the parents and guardians but rather of the entire community and society.

6. Wee smoking camps and bases should not just be closed down but rather community leaders should find ways to liaise with the base leaders to prevent children from patronizing and becoming functional and active members or smokers.

7. Zango leaders should find better ways of dealing with miscreants in the society to discourage the young from patronage and being attracted to it.

Sheikh Ibrahim Malik gave a wonderful Quranic recitation at the end of the second session. 

SOLIDARITY MESSAGES       

Mr. Daniel from the National Road Safety Commission gave a short speech on indiscipline on the road. He encouraged the audience and the youth to practice all the necessary rules and regulations on our roads.

The audience expressed their gratitude for a successfully organized program. The vote of thanks and closing prayers were given by Alhaji Khuzaima Osman.

Dignitaries at the event include; Mr. Usman Saeed, the deputy ES of the ONCI, reps from Care Bridge Foundation, Muslim Women Teaching ,Zongo Inspiration Team, Gadangme Muslim Council and Youth Read Camp among others.

FUNDS RECEIVED BY DONORS;

1. OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT OF GHANA                                              5000GHC

2. THE NATIONAL CHIEF IMAM, SHEIKH PROF. OSMAN SHARUBUTU   1000GHC

3. ZAKAT AND SADAQA TRUST FUND OF GHANA    500GHC

ITEMS RECEIVED FOR THE PROGRAM

1. 5 CARTOONS OF WATER

2. 50 PIECES OF MEAT PIE

TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON THE PROGRAM

ITEM

DESCRIPTION

COST(Ȼ)

ACHIEVERS

TRANSPORT FROM MAMOBI AND OTHER COMMUNITIES

   100

AYISHA IBRAHIM

STIPENDS FOR THE MC

350

GAKIA TY

STIPENDS

100

GHANAIAN TIMES

STIPENDS

100

GHANA NEWS

STIPENDS

100

FREE LANCE JOURN.

STIPENDS

50

MAVIS AND ADIZA

OFFICE STAFF EVENT ALLOWANCE

400

FOOD FOR PANELIST

SPECIAL BEANS  FOR THE PANELIST  & SOME IMPORTANT DIG

200

INTERNET BUNDLE

INTERNET FOR LIVE PROGRAM

50

INTERNET

INTERNET  FOR THE USE OF THE OFFICE FOR 3MONTHS

360

EXTENSION BOARD

TO CONNECT SPEAKERS AND OTHER

37

2 SOCKETS

TO CONNECT THE EXTENSION

20

TABLE CLOTH

FOR THE EVENT AND OTHER EVENTS

40

2 CORDLESS MICROPHONES

FOR THE EVENT AND OTHER EVENTS

360

REFRESHMENT

SOFT DRINKS

100

TRANSPOTATION

INVITATION AND OTHER ADMIN ERRANDS

200

BANNER

FOR THE EVENT ONLY AND MAYBE USED ANOTHER TIME

195

ISHAK ZICO, BOOT CAMP

TRANSPORTATION FROM MADINA AND BACK

150

PHONE CALLS

FOR INVITATION AND FOLLOW UPS

80

TWO CEILING FANS

ALMOST ALL THE CEILING FANS AT THE VENUE WERE FAULTY SO TWO WERE PURCHASED FOR LONG TERM USE

300

VOLUNTEERS

3 VOLUNTEERS FOR THE PROGRAM

600

CAMERA AND VIDEO

PROFESSIONAL PICTURE-TAKING AND VIDEO WITH THE ONCI HIGH QUALITY CAMERA AND VIDEO

100

EVENT ORGANIZER

FADAMA BUSINESS CENTER WAS CONTRACTED TO ORGANISE THE EVENT ON A CONDITION OF PAYMENT ONLY AFTER MEETING TARGETS

2,000

TOTAL

5,992

PAST EVENTS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF HIS EMINENCE THE NATIONAL CHIEF IMAM OF GHANA THAT FOCUSED ON THE YOUTH

1. In 2010, the Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu Education Trust Fund (SONSETFUND) organized an empowerment workshop for the Zango Youth that trained over 40 participants.

2. The Islamic Peace and Security Council of Ghana (IPASEC) organized International Youth Day of 2014 which highlighted some challenges facing the Muslim communities in Ghana. https://newsghana.com.gh/ipasec-highlight-issues-facing-the-muslim-youth/

3. The African Support Network (ASN) launched an awareness creation program to discourage the marginalized youth from taking risky and deadly voyages to europe and America seeking greener pastures abroad.