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.