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... UN, EU Join group to Celebrate International Youths Day
Junior Chamber International (JCI) has expressed concern over the rising growth of unemployment among Nigerian youths, saying 50 percent of the youths are still unemployed.
The National President, JCI Nigeria, Onyinyechukwu Mbeledogu who spoke during this year’s international Youths Day said there are still enormous disparities of opportunities, wealth and power among the youths.
Mbeledogu added that the youths are the present, the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open minded generation the world has ever seen and JCI Nigeria through its local organisations in different communities and regional levels has led different conversations bringing young people from diverse backgrounds together to advance a common purpose.
“We are meeting at a time of immense challenges to young people all across the world and particularly in Nigeria. Particularly, youth unemployment is still a major concern with reports showing more than 50 percent of the Nigeria youth population without job,
“There are still enormous disparities of opportunities, wealth and power. Global health threat from the pandemic, more frequent and intense natural disasters from climate change, spiraling conflicts, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarianism crisis and forced displacement of people are more evident today in our society,” she said.
“We have also, at different times over the years, provided opportunities that empower young people. Of course, we are creating positive change. Yes, we are united amidst diversity to colossal effects”, she stressed.
This year’s edition that was tagged ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ highlighted the ways the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
Explaining the roles youths must play in advancing the course of global development, Director, United Nation Information Office, Ronald Kayanja said that young people are a great asset to the development of the world and the entire world through them are achieving developmental goals very fast.
Kayanja pointed out that young people as they are known are facing incredible challenges that vary from life threatening risks, rising inequality, problem of education and different conflicts.
“Because of the pandemic many young people have lost jobs millions of them cannot go to school”
He however, called on different institutions to come up with strategies on how they could work with young people to achieve common goals.
“It is important that we work with young people, support their rights and create conducive conditions to allow them to play active roles in the society because they are agents of positive change”, Keyanga retorted.
2020 JCI World President, Itai Manyere wants young people to take the bull by the horn to create values in their immediate communities,
Manyere said in his words that young people need not to look far before adding value to their immediate community as there are more challenges in Africa than other continents of the world.
“We still need young people to come to the table to take action. As young people, we should not wait for our parents and uncle before we make positive actions. The world is looking for young people to take positive action”
“JCI provides development opportunities. Look for that opportunity to impact the people in the smallest possible way and as we do that we engage the government”, Manyere urged.
In her own message, the wife of the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Bamidele Abiodun thanked JCI for providing a platform that gives young people the opportunity to express themselves and contribute to the development of the society.
She said that the unprecedented turn of global affairs that caused Covid-19 have left nations, institutions and people grappling to make sense of the new reality as young people are facing and attempting to chart a new course for the future.
Abiodun cited the United Nations report that said that there are over 1.2billion youths between the ages of 15 -24 years that account for 1 out of every 6 people in the world. A number she said has been estimated to grow by 7% in 2030.
“The figures tell us that youths are the driving force behind the sustainable development in the world today, particularly in Africa, they are increasingly becoming the leading global voices in climate change, education and gender equality”
Abiodun urged young people to start creating value irrespective of where they are for the world to become a better place to be for everybody.
“We need more youths to be involved in policy formation, decision making processes in both public and private sectors across different industries and economy”, she called.
European Union representative at the event, Clement Boutillier described the energy in young people as a major drive that has been propelling them to achieve new possibilities in different fields of life.
Boutillier emphasized the positive impacts the Commission has been contributing to the development of Nigeria, most especially, on issues that have to drive education and youth developments.
He said that the EU has given scholarships to young people in Nigeria to follow their endeavour to gain knowledge that would make them achieve new possibilities in life.
The youth day that also had in session the Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson as keynote speaker was held virtually.
Thompson said the theme of the conference is crucial and shows how the involvement of young people at global and national can enrich institutions and processes.
“In four years that I have been deputy high commissioner in Nigeria , I have met incredible young people doing incredible things in all fields of life, changing narratives in the country”, Thompson explained.