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My expectations of the 9CYMM: Towards a prosperous, resilient and a peaceful Commonwealth
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My expectations of the 9CYMM: Towards a prosperous, resilient and a peaceful Commonwealth

Kenneth Gyamerah, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Ghana, highlights the importance of the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Misters Meeting and calls for greater investment in young people to result a more prosperous, resilient and peaceful Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Secretariat will convene the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (9CYMM) in Kampala, Uganda on 31st July to 4th August 2017. CYMM is held every four years and is the most important conference for deliberation on the Commonwealth youth development agenda and its relationship with other sustainable development priorities. The meeting brings together Youth Ministers, senior government officials, youth representatives, youth workers and other youth sector stakeholders from across the Commonwealth.

As a Commonwealth correspondent and youth activist from Ghana, I have great expectations from the 9CYMM. I want the government, stakeholders and senior ministers of the Commonwealth to invest in young Commonwealth citizens. Investment in the youth is an investment for the future. Young people form the majority of population around the Commonwealth where the population is estimated at 1.2 billion.

It is estimated that, about 58 million children are out of school globally with Africa region recording the highest in the world. Majority of the youth in the region are unemployed. Unemployment is on the rise because, I feel that very little Investment have been made towards quality education and skills development for young people in order to find suitable employment.

I expect the meeting to provide an agreement between top officials, stakeholders, ministers and youth ministers to invest in young Commonwealth citizens by, providing them opportunities to acquiring quality education, setting aside some seed capital to young entrepreneurs and investing in capacity building programmes and fellowships geared towards developing next generation of young leaders who will transform their countries.

The investment should also give room for a borderless trade between young entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth. Young people are the drivers of change and investing in them, will result in a more prosperous, resilient and peaceful Commonwealth.

Moreover, I expect this high profile meeting to discuss the inclusion of young people in decision making at the highest level.  Young people should be given the opportunity to take part in the decision making that affects their futures. They should not be left out in the decision making process in national, regional and international levels.

As a Ghanaian youth, I am expecting 9CYMM conversations to produce youth centred interventions which will be geared towards tackling global problems such as quality education, youth unemployment, climate change, good health and well-being, gender based violence issues, peace building, conflict resolution and human rights. This is because, they are the most pressing issues in recent times. I am also expecting good partnership and networking opportunities between young people, government officials, youth workers and stakeholders at this meeting to address the above issues.

One other thing I have observed is that, young people especially those living in Africa, find it difficult to secure funds to attend important conferences and meetings where young people’s issues are discussed. Therefore, I expect government officials, youth ministers, stakeholders and youth workers to set up a fund over the next few months, where young people can apply to attend important conferences and summits. Full participation of young people in policy dialogues such as CYMM will give them the opportunity to share their stories, issues and experiences to achieve better results for youth in the Commonwealth.

Photo credit: Commonwealth Students’ Association

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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