May 27, 2016 By Gabriel Benjamin in Antayla, Turkey
Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mission headquarters in New York has affirmed that resilient institutions and the economy are key to building human capital economic growth and social development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
H.E. Vandi Chidi Manah made this statement yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, during the pre-ministerial press conference on “building quality human capital development for sustainable economic growth and social development of the Istanbul Programme of Action.”
Mr. Vandi opines that: “If Africa wants her human capital economic growth and social development to improve significantly and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, it must begin to build resilient institutions and economy,” adding that “this is the only way we [Africa] can make any significant progress.”
Amb. Vandi also noted that it was time for Africa to protect her youths by creating opportunities for employment, as there could be no economic growth and development if the youths, who make up 40% of the continent’s population, are jobless.
“This is not the time to shift the goal post; we must all rise and face the challenge of youth unemployment in the continent. This is the huge challenge before us, once we are able to fix this, we [Africa] are on the right trajectory to building the continent’s human capital economic growth and development,” he noted.
The erstwhile Transport and Aviation minister and deputy Foreign Affairs Minister also pushed for special budgetary allocation for women and children, since they are the most vulnerable in the society. “African Finance Ministers should allow their yearly budget to be gender and children friendly,” he urged.
Also speaking during the press conference, Somalia’s Minister of Planning and International Co-operation, H.E. Abdullahi Shekh Ali said youth unemployment in Africa was the root cause of violent extremism, citing Somalia as a reference point.
The Horn of Africa nation imploded into violent conflict in the early 1990s and despite the presence African Union peacekeepers, the country remains volatile, with Al-Shabab insurgents – mostly youths – making the country unsafe by launching sporadic attacks and suicide bombings in Mogadishu, the capital, and elsewhere.
According to Mr. Ali, “there is so much pressure on unemployed youths in Africa to join extremist organisations, become violence and get involved in all social ills. We must tackle and halt this ugly trend with legitimate weapon at our disposals. We can’t afford to lose this war.”
The Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action, organised by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), co sponsored by the Government of Turkey, is aimed at re-affirming the global commitment to address the special needs of the LDCs made at the 2011 Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs in Istanbul and to further strengthen the global partnership for development for LDCs in all priority areas, and to likewise draw synergies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.