ABC Secretariat Meets Youth Leaders
The Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat has held a consultative meeting with the leadership of youth groups in the Freetown Municipality. (Photo: Participants at the workshop)
This took place in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications on Wednesday 24th July 2013, and was attended by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MoIC), Theo Nicol, Permanent Secretary at MoIC, Paul Sandy and Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay from the Office of the Government Spokesman, among others.
With the theme: “Working towards prosperity with positive attitude: Youth empowerment and positive attitude,” the meeting was held to map the way forward for the forthcoming youth conference to be held in commemoration of the International Youth Day.
In his statement, the Deputy Information and Communications Minister, Theo Nicol emphasized that the youths are the future leaders, while encouraging them to always put up the right attitude to self, school, community and the nation.
He advised the youths to desist from drug consumption and violence so as not to jeopardize their future and that of the country.
He called on them to always endeavour to respect elders and leaders. He further expressed dissatisfaction over less participation of women in leadership forum.
According to him, President Koroma has demonstrated the will to empower youths. He therefore called on the youths to take full advantage of this opportunity.
The youths, he said, owe the nation their good behaviour for national prosperity.
The Permanent Secretary, Paul Sandy advised the youths to serve as auditors for their selves and others. He emphasized the need for them to be tolerant, humble, and activate the spirit of endurance and make true their moral responsibility.
Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay from the Office of the Government Spokesman said the meeting with the youths marks the first since the launch of the agenda for prosperity. He reiterated that President Koroma has dedicated his tenure to the youths of Sierra Leone. The President, he said, is matching words with actions, while highlighting the separation of the youth ministry and the appointment of a presidential youth aide as typical examples.
He said the agenda for prosperity is not just a political rhetoric but a document that will lead Sierra Leone to prosperity.
A representative from the National Youth Commission, Mosina M’jamtusie admonished women to be part of youth groups and development. The National Youth Commission, she said, is working with all youth groups in the country towards achieving the youth objectives in the agenda for prosperity.
Mr. Titus Boye-Thompson said the youths should desist from bribery and corruption, and stresse that such will be a bad legacy for children yet unborn. He called on them to properly plan for the future by engaging in nation building strides.
Executive Director of the ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas stated that the mindset of the youths determines the future, thus making it very critical.
According to him, the wrong mindset of deviance, violence, truancy, lethargy and no self determination leads to doom. Youths with wrong mindset, he said, will not reach altitude. He advised the youths to make use of the opportunities available to them and cultivate the right mindset.
According to him, the time for a paradigm shift from violence to hard work, and from poverty to prosperity is now.
He pleaded to the youths to relevantly educate themselves so that they achieve a brighter future. He called on them to renovate themselves and activate the mobile concept of life.
“Lethargy does not have a place in the agenda for prosperity,” he said, adding that the youths should be able to distinguish between what is right from what is wrong.
National Coordinator and Second-in-Command of the ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas focused her presentation on the girl-child. She encouraged the female youths to always dream big and achieve their goals. She called on them to improve on their attitude by cultivating positive attitudes.
“Women should work towards earning the 30% quota for women’s representation,” she noted, adding that integrity comes first in everything in life.
She pointed out that the future of the country lies in the hands of the women folks. “Forget material things and focus on education,” she emphasized, while noting that poverty should not be an excuse for anybody not to educate herself.
“Women should have self confidence and focus,” she ended.
The meeting was ably chaired by the Programme Manager of the ABC Secretariat, Mr. Ishmeal Cole.
Mr. Cole said the youths are the strongest assets of the country. He said the President has recognised the importance of youths, noting that the time to examine the causes of the problems affecting the youths is now.
“Together, everyone will achieve more,” he said, adding that the youths are the powerhouse to the nation.
Statements were made by Zonal Youth Chairmen for the three youth zones in the country.
Vote of thanks was delivered by the Secretary of the ABC Secretariat, Mrs. Umu Leigh.
Courtesy ABC Communications Unit
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