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‘Youth engagement and participation essential to achieving human development’

-Chairman Nat. Youth Council

May 3, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura

Chairman National Youth Council has averred that youth engagement and participation was essential to achieving sustainable development, peace and security of the state.

Ibrahim Prince Tholley was speaking last week during celebrations to mark ‘National Youth Development Week’ themed ‘Campaign against violence, promoting discipline amongst youth for national building’. He emphasised the role of youth in building social cohesion and collective well-being of Sierra Leoneans.

He stated that the youth of Sierra Leone are the nucleus and drivers of change, although they are not beneficiaries or targets of that change.

Thorley lamented that some youths in Sierra Leone act rebelliously because of pressure from their communities and urged community members to change their perception about youths.

The chairman said that this year’s ‘National Youth Development Week’ celebration was aimed at promoting a peaceful co-existence and respect for diversity among young people as they actively participate in politics and public life.

He noted that young people in communities now rally round different flags instead of the national flag, such as support for different celebrities and gang groups.

He said the National Youth Council was faced with challenges of social accountability of projects designed and implemented for young people across the country and their lack of participation in decision- making.

He pleaded to President Ernest Bai Koroma, on behalf of young people of Sierra Leone, for the National Youth Council and its component structures and the National Youth Policy to be enshrined by an Act of Parliament.

“It is not that we don’t trust whosoever that comes after the President [Koroma], but we are thrilled by your passion and we believe President Ernest Bai Koroma can do it better,” he said.

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