The first-ever Kribi General Youth Forum ended in Kribi, headquarters of Ocean Division in the South Region on May 8, 2019. The initiative by Senator Gregoire Mba Mba was meant to link up unemployed youth with training and recruitment opportunities in local firms, industries and organizations.
Talking to Cameroon Tribune at the close of the forum in Kribi, Senator Mba Mba said it was a huge success in terms of mobilisation because they invited 1,500 youth aged 20 to 40 years, but over 2,000 turned up. There were three workshops on entrepreneurship, political vision/mentoring and investments – with the themes chosen by the youth themselves. The major resolutions include youth training.
Forum organisers will sign partnerships with organisations to train young people in maritime trades for eventual mass employment by the Kribi Port Authority, Mba Mba explained. The training will be sponsored by local firms and industries. “The firms based in Kribi make much money and must contribute to the development of their host community,” he noted.
There will also be “targeted recruitments” and holiday internships with stipends organised by the forum platform. “We will no longer tolerate back-door recruitments of a few relatives. We will insist on massive, publicised recruitments. The forum platform will be responsible for forwarding lists of those seeking holiday internships and recruitment in particular firms and not allow young people to struggle on their own as it was the case in the past,” the vision-bearer promised.
“I will personally ensure that young people are accepted for paid internships during holidays and those trained are employed afterwards. Our goal is to reduce unemployment in our city and make the youth part of our development,” Mba Mba pledged, promising to send the forum resolutions to the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya.
According to him, the greatest impact of the pioneer Kribi General Youth Forum on the coastal town is that there will be joy and celebration in families after people are trained and succeed in securing jobs. “The impact will be social and economic as well. If our people are not happy, those who have invested in Kribi will find it difficult to continue with their activities. Above all, the dividends of the forum will be felt beyond Kribi to the whole South Region,” Mba Mba said. Meanwhile, the first fruits of the forum include the commitment by the Integrated Support Programme for Informal Sector Actors, PIAASI, to finance the income-generating activities of 25 young people to the tone of 10 million FCFA.
Senator Mba Mba’s Emergence Group will also finance the little businesses/trades of 50 young people at the cost of 50,000 FCFA each, giving a total of 5 million FCFA. “There is now greater awareness amongst local industries and organizations on the need to do more for youth. They are not going to employ everyone, but they can begin from somewhere. Several industries operate in Kribi, but youth have not benefitted enough from their activities over the years because they did not have the requisite skills – especially in maritime trades,” Gregoire Mba Mba admitted.