The 1992 constitution which governs the democracy Ghana enjoys today has enshrined in it in Chapter 8 Article 62 clause(b) that for a person to qualify as president of Ghana, He/she must have attained the age of forty (40)
Life begins at 40 right?, those who wrote the constitution at the time couldn’t be faulted, they couldn’t allow any toddler to rise through populism to the seat of government just to mess up. Well guess what, after 26 years of democratic rule with presidents way above forty, Ghana is still lagging behind when compared to its peers around the world.
Government is still struggling to provide the basic needs of the citizens. The poverty gap has increased dramatically and the political elite increasingly are losing touch with the young and poor.
Ghana is blessed with strong and dynamic youth, Intelligent and wise both in words and in deeds. Many have proved themselves able in the political and national development steering matters. Some able and well known young politicians include Kow Essuman, Elvis Botah, Lawyer Nana Boakye, Dominic Eduah, Sammy Awuku, Dr. Zenator Rawlings, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, John Dumelo etc all of who have made strides in Ghanaian politics and will be great leaders when given the chance.
It is therefore absurd that in this day and age, such an artificial limitation could be placed in the way of anyones ambitions. If anything, Ghana should take cue from France and Austria. These are European countries, one of which is a world power. These two countries are led by presidents who are below the magic age of 40. They are able in their capacity and are leading the global move to involve more youth in politics.
If Africa wants to keep its youth from leaving the continent in order to harness their energy to build Africa, then more and more of the youth must gain a voice in national decision making and politics as a whole.
The current constitution must be amended to do away with the minimum age limit to encourage more youth to participate in politics.
By Joseph Nayere