Empowered youth would guarantee Africa’s development – UNFPA

Mr Faustin Yao, Director of United Nations Population Fund, Africa Sub-Regional Office, says Africa can only achieve sustainable development if the right dosage of investment goes into the empowerment of the continent’s youth.

He said it was important to invest in young people and involve them in population growth management, climate change and mitigation strategies since it could help better manage population, green economy and technological innovations.

He noted that empowered young people certainly held the key to better-managed population growth as well as sustainable development.

Mr Yao said this at the just ended Second Dialogue and Retreat of Southern Civil Society Organisation and Africa Regional Consultation with Civil Society and Youth on International Conference on Population Development beyond 2014 in Accra.

The five-day meeting on the theme, “Access, Effectiveness, Results and Accountability: Deepening Southern Engagement in the Global environment”, was to identify strategic areas and directions for capacity enabling, institutional strengthening, advocacy and accountability actions for Southern Civil Society at country and global levels.

It  provided an authoritative picture of the state of population and development in 2014 and beyond and the outcome report would serve as a major reference point for discussing, implementing and monitoring population and development policies and programmes beyond 2014.

Mr Yao said over the years, young people had shown that they could effectively contribute to the promotion of human rights, accountability and good governance.

“With an asset of a youthful population, this is the time for Africa to invest in young people and address their socio-economic needs to ensure that this asset does not turn into a handicap,” he said.

Mr Yao explained that Africa had a youthful population which had been estimated to reach 22 per cent of the global population by 2050 if the number and proportion continued to grow in the near future.

Source: GNA

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