Washington DC – The President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, speaking from Washington DC, where he and members of the Federal Government of Somalia are attending the historic US-Africa Summit, today announced several new initiatives aimed to empower Somali youth.
With one of the largest youth populations of any nation in the world, Somalia faces critical challenges, including providing education, developing meaningful employment opportunities, reducing the attractiveness of radicalism, and increasing youth participation in civic and Government-led processes and activities.
“Somali youth are the future of Somalia. They want and deserve what young people around the world want: to be able to walk safely in their cities, to work in meaningful jobs that provide enough to support their families, to match their ambitions with opportunities, to participate fully and actively in planning and actualising initiatives that improve Somalia,” said HE The President.
“The Federal Government of Somalia will generate opportunities for young people that are positive alternatives to participating in violence and conflict. I am very proud to announce several key initiatives that we are seeking to rapidly implement.”
· the development of an overarching youth empowerment framework and associated legislation and policies;
· the development of a job creation program and youth enterprise
· developing a University accreditation system.
· strengthening youth representation in civil, Government and political activities, focused at the local and regional political level;
· the appointment of two Youth Advisers to the Office of the President;
· lowering the age limit of elected political representation to 18;
· identifying the first national park in Somalia as a youth-led initiative in order to protect Somalia’s environmental future and generate future tourism opportunities;
· creating employment in sustainable fishing and marine ecosystem management for youth in coastal communities previously dependent on income from piracy;
· supporting the establishment of the Somali Film Council;
· promoting access to the opportunities presented by the introduction of fibre optics and 3G to Somalia.
The US-Africa Summit (4-6 August 2014) hosted by President Obama, is the largest event any US President has held with Africa heads of state and government. Aimed at strengthening ties between Africa and US, the Summit is focusing on trade, investment, security and democratic development.
“The United States is one of Somalia’s key development partners. This Summit, with its theme of ‘Investing in the Next Generation’ reflects the core of the Federal Government of Somalia’s responsibility and work. Over the next few days the Federal Government of Somalia team will be having discussions with US partners to explore ways to stimulate investment and growth in Somalia in order to unlock opportunities, connect Somalia better to the US and create an enabling environment for Somalia’s next generation,” concluded HE The President.