Delegación de la Unión Europea en Nicaragua

‘Your voice should be heard,’ EU tells the youth as it inaugurates pioneer Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria

30/09/2021 - 17:41
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In a bid to make its programmes and activities more inclusive and participatory, the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS has inaugurated a Youth Sounding Board, a club of 25 young Nigerians, who will help in shaping and implementing its strategies in the country in the next two years. The launch of the EU Youth Sounding Board (EU-YSB Nigeria) is part of the EU’s commitment to incorporating young Nigerians in its decision-making process. The Board serve as a bridge between young Nigerians and the Delegation.

In a bid to make its programmes and activities more inclusive and participatory, the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS has inaugurated a Youth Sounding Board, a club of 25 young Nigerians, who will help in shaping and implementing its strategies in the country in the next two years. The launch of the EU Youth Sounding Board (EU-YSB Nigeria) is part of the EU’s commitment to incorporating young Nigerians in its decision-making process. The Board serve as a bridge between young Nigerians and the Delegation.

According to the Charge d’Affaires at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Alexandre Borges Gomes, the EU-YSB will allow young people to influence the policies and programmes of the EU in Nigeria, “thereby contributing to making EU action more participatory, relevant and effective for the large young population in Nigeria.”

Members of the Board were meticulously selected out of hundreds of applications by young and motivated Nigerians from across the country. “Specifically, you were selected based on your knowledge and experience in one or more of the areas that are of key interest to the EU, including gender, youth inclusion, climate change, and culture,” he said.

The 25 youths, he said, had proven record of accomplishment of playing outstanding roles in their communities, both online and offline, and had setup and participated in creative and innovative initiatives to empower youth at the grassroots level.

With over 60% of the population below the age of 25 years, youth in Nigeria are a huge driver for change and innovation. In ongoing EU programmes, youth is already engaged in different subjects ranging from peace and security, to vocational training, and eradication of gender-based violence. A key lesson learnt in these engagements, is that lasting change and innovation lies with youth.

“The EU, therefore, believes that the future of Nigeria will largely depend on the ability to provide young Nigerians with opportunities for employment, education, health and access to decision-making processes,” Mr Borges Gomes stated.

Youth is a central feature across all priority areas as the EU in Nigeria works on its new programme of support to Nigeria for the period 2021-2027. The role of the EU-YSB will, therefore, be instrumental in ensuring that the voices of young ones are taken into account in the shaping and implementation of this new programme for Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of other members of the Board, Mr. Ismail Bello said he was excited to be selected, and urged the EU to sustain the initiative as a way of creating opportunities for young people and youth organisations to express their views, connect and exchange ideas.

“I’m excited to be picked as one of the beneficiaries of this important initiative. Being part of this group will give me the opportunity to make my voice heard on issues of youth participation and empowerment. Getting selected is a stepping stone to my career as I will network with other young people and youth organizations” Bello said. Speaking at the event, Nigeria's Minister of Youths Development and Sports, Sunday Dare, described the Board as a window of opportunity for the youths, stressing the need for agenda for action. The Minister said the Nigerian government was fighting poverty with various empowerment initiatives, noting that about 6,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the Nigerian Youths Investment Fund since its establishment last year.

 

 

 


 

 

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