EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia is hosting the West Africa youth leaders forum on population and development which opened on Wednesday at Metzy’s residence hotel in Kololi.
The forum gathers young leaders and youth organizations from ECOWAS and the Sahel countries to share work and initiatives at national level that advance the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda as well as discuss the contributions of West African youth in the implementation of ICPD.
It is being organised under the theme: ICPD25, The Contributions of West African Youth to Accelerating the promise.
Dembo Kambi, chairman of The Gambia National Youth Council (NYC), reminded young people that it is time for them to stand and say no and demand what rightful belongs to them or the status core will remain the same. “It is high time that we the future and the present leaders of Africa to come up wherever we are and start rewriting the history of our continent and the sub-region,” he said.
Mr Kambi urged ECOWAS to involve, organize and establish ECOWAS youth Council that will run the affairs of the regional bloc’s young people. “We have asked questions for so long and it is time to give answers and discuss on how we can revolutionarise our approach to development and empowerment to enable us to rewrite the narratives of not only West Africa but Africa as a whole,” he said.
Jennifer Yere Agbaji, commissioner of gender, agriculture and rural economy at the African Youth Commission (AYC), Nigeria and representative of the executive chairperson of the AYC, said it is not true that young people are clueless and are too young to lead, saying it is because of AYC that young people all over the world are beginning to take steps in accountability.
She said young people are rising to question authorities instructively and AYC among other platforms is working for youth in Africa.
According to her, Gambia was among the first countries in whole of Africa to launch the AYC National Consortium, saying the contribution of young people to the implementation of ICPD promise highlights how access to reproductive health quality services and efficient information sharing among youth could be improved to ensure rights and choices for all.
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was established in 1994 during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, where 179 governments adopted a revolutionary programme of action and called for Women’s reproductive health and rights to take center stage in national and global development efforts.
In November 2019, governments, advocates, health organizations, women’s and youth activists and others will gather in Kenya for the Nairobi Summit. There, they will seek clear commitments that will advance the goals of the ICPD and secure the rights and dignity of all.