The day was commemorated last Saturday on the theme: “Youth Building Peace”.
At a time when Boko Haram is greatly using youths to embark on suicide missions, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou has called on youths in Africa, particularly those in Cameroon to be vectors of peace wherever they find themselves in the country. He was speaking last Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Yaounde during activities to commemorate the 18th edition of the International Youth Day. The day was observed on the theme “Youths Building Peace.”
The day, according to the Minister of Youth Affairs, is to inform the public that youths are important actors for peace in any developing country. Thus, there is a need to offer them opportunities to realise their dreams, valorise and encourage their developmental initiatives. Stating that youths are the future of tomorrow, Mounouna Foutsou urged all youths to fight against that which can impede them from contributing to their bright future. As such, peace and non-violence should be amongst those essential things youths should defend if they truly want to contribute in ensuring a better future not only for them but the nation at large.
It was an occasion for the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education to acknowledge and promote those many projects of added value amongst youths. As he called on everybody to collectively support youths in reducing the negative representation and prejudices they have of each other, Mounouna Foutsou said it is no longer enough for the government to work for youths but to work with them to ensure proper promotion of peace through education and exchange.
In a speech delivered on behalf of the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the UN scribe noted that the world has never been so young and it is getting younger every day. As such Irina Bokova called on international actors, governments, civil society and educational institutions-to partner with young women and men to craft new paths together towards more peaceful societies. Celebrations in Yaounde were marked by a fair in which students from the University of Maroua displayed a locally-made car which used solar energy to function. The international organisation-Qnet and the National Programme to Curb Maternal and Neonatal Mortality offered ICT equipment and health kits respectively to the Multipurpose Youth Empowerment Centre in Yaounde.