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UNDP & NYC Celebrate International Youth Day

UNDP & NYC Celebrate International Youth Day

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), alongside the National Youth Commission (NYC), on Sunday August 12 celebrated International Youth Day at the Lagonda Hotel Complex, Aberdeen, Freetown.

Chairman of the occasion, Madam Rosaline Koroma said International Youth Day is an important day in the lives of youths across the world, naming Sierra Leone as a specific case. She noted that this year’s theme is centered on “Building a Better World” for youths in the world as they are the pillars of the future.

Speaking in this occasion, Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Anthony A Koroma expressed his profound appreciation and welcomed all that had come to celebrate this day.  The Commissioner cited reference to the inception of International Youth Day as a declaration borne in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1998 after International Organizations thought wisely that youths are the future of tomorrow and must be encouraged to take an active role in development by providing the enabling environment for them to be responsible people.

Mr. Koroma further said that his Commission is happy with its development partners, namely UNDP, GIZ, etc., who have been providing relentless support to see that youth problems are being addressed; the commissioner explained that according to the current UN consensus report on youth unemployment, over 800,000 youths of a working age are jobless.

He revealed that in light of this high rate of unemployed youths the UNDP has developed a five year plan to tackle the present challenges facing youths in the country, which he said ranges from youth employment, developing self entrepreneurship, education, and the inclusion of youths in governance.

Also speaking at this occasion, Acting Country Director of the UNDP, Mohamed Abchir, said the UNDP is committed to support the NYC in its drive to see that youth issues are being addressed; he noted that the principal concern of the UNDP is to see that the youths of the country are highly educated and become quality citizens that will mount the challenges of this nation in the forefront of other developing countries in the world.

Executive Representative of the United Nations, Secretary General (ERSG), Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, said he and his boss Ban Ki-moon consider youth issues as a serious development base approach, as he stated that the message by Ban Ki-Moon in this year’s International Youth Day is “Building a better world together with youths.” He explained that this message is to ensure that youths are not being distanced from taking an active role in decision making, especially when it comes to decisions that will determine the fate of the world; saying they will be predecessors of their forbearers.

Representative for Youth Issues in parliament, Honorable Nurindeen Sankoh-Yillah, said he is committed to speak and represent youths in whatever platform necessary in order to help change the lives of fellow youths in the country.

Deputy Youth Commissioner, Aminata Sillah, in her closing remarks urged all youths to be in the frontline in steering change, as she said if other youths across the African Continent such as Julius Malema of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa can attract change, then why not us.  She explained that all we need do is to embrace our civic responsibility of being responsible youths, then can we be seen as the leadership of change, ready to write our names in the history books of those who help change the future of our time.

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