At 55th Youth Day Address: Biya Unveils New Era Of Youth Engagement

Story, Kah Patience

The President of the Republic, Paul Biya, Wednesday  February 10 announced   his renewed  engagement to   put youth  at the  centre  of  his   government’s   agenda  for the  growth and development of  Cameroon.

The President’s renewed attention to youth was the highpoint of  his message  addressed  to his young compatriots. This was on the eve of the 55th edition of the National Youth Day celebrated Thursday nationwide.

Throughout the message, the President   demonstrated his   knowledge of the challenges youth  face. He vowed to open up the political space  to carry the youth  along so that, they can become veritable vectors  of the country’s growth and development.

He charged  his government to  work  in line with this  new  engagement, stating that: “I once more call on the Government to work towards  ensuring the successful implementation of these  programmes. The solution of the thorny problem of youth  employment in our country depends to a large extent on  their implementation”.

The President  outlined the  youth-centred  programmes  to include:; the “Special Youth” Three-year Plan which, in  2020, financed about 5 500 projects for a total  amount of nearly 15 billion CFA francs, thus  enabling the settlement of a little more than 16  000 young people in 66 second-generation pioneer  villages. – the Decent Employment Promotion Programme  which aims to create 500 000 jobs during the

2021 financial year”.

Nation Building Collective Responsibility

The President  told the youth that,   building  the nation requires  the   collective effort  of all  its citizens  with youth inclusive.

He said: “Nation building is the responsibility of all of us. It

requires a spirit of harmony and tolerance among citizens. I therefore urge you to cultivate this spirit at all  times, and to champion peace in order not to squander  the opportunities that your country is offering you.”

Following repeated attempts to incite young people against the state, Biya cautioned them to be “be pragmatic and persevering. Do not yield to pessimism and discouragement. Shun adventurous paths  and those that seek easy gain.”

Your Country First

Biya  told the youth to put Cameroon first irrespective of wherever  they go in the world. He advised youth never forget their roots when time comes knocking for nation-building contribution, “If you embark on the conquest of the world, come  back to build your country. Promote Cameroon like your  compatriots, namely: – the physicist, Arsène Stéphane TEMA BIWOLE, at General Atomics;- the mathematician and computer scientist,  Thystère Djob MVONDO, who has just brilliantly

defended his doctorate thesis at the age of 22; – the writer, Djaïli AMADOU AMAL, who, as you  know, won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens 2020;  and many others that I cannot name here.”

He has acknowledged that: “Peace is a prerequisite for progress. As you are  aware, it has been threatened for a few years now in our  country by armed gangs that are spreading terror on the  western border of the Far-North, and in some areas in  the North West and South West. Our eastern border is  also facing insecurity. Fortunately, courageous and patriotic Cameroonian  youths are effectively playing their role as the driving  force in the defence of the Fatherland on these different  fronts”.

Youth Contribution In Military Hailed

In this light, young men and women in the military were saluted for braving all odds to defend the territorial integrity of the country

“Our young soldiers are actively engaged with  determination, professionalism and a high sense of  sacrifice in restoring peace to our country. Similarly, within the framework of the Army-Nation  tandem, young people are the most active in vigilante  committees which are providing valuable support to the  Defence and Security Forces.

These dedicated and committed youths are the pride  of our country.  they are a model of abnegation, patriotic  awareness, service for the common interest and preservation of national sovereignty and unity.

May their example inspire you in various other aspects of national life,” the President detailed.

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