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Launching of the Youth Week
On the 31st of January 2013, activities to mark the national youth week were launched in Babessi

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On the 31st of January 2013, activities to mark the national youth week were launched in Babessi, Ngoketunjia division by the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Bidoung Mkpatt. The minister was accompanied by the Governor of the North West Region, Regional Delegates and Heads of autonomous Services.

The Mayor of the Babessi council in his welcome address underscored the timeliness of the event as it comes after the flood incident and during the period of elections. He enjoined government to move the flood victims to their resettlement areas and called on youths to have knowledge on republican values and civic education. He however did not hesitate to raise problems plaguing the youths in his council area which included; the need for the creation of a multipurpose youth center, the need for Babessi to benefit from projects such as PAJER-U, the need for a modern playground and gymnasium as well as the need for sustained assistance to various youth groups and the need for financial empowerment of the 22 youths who went through the NCSAPD program.

The Regional president of the CNYC on his part while appreciating government for the creation of multipurpose youth centers appealed that youths should be included as council executives and introduced in parliament. He further appealed that the voting age be dropped to eighteen years so that youths will be able to better exercise their franchise. He reiterated that money recovered from embezzlers should be pumped into the NCSADP, a national youth championship program be organized during the long holidays and that a multipurpose youth center be created in Nyos which will go a long way to empower the youths who are disillusioned. He ended by calling on youths to shun alcoholism, unnecessary migration and scamming.

The General Manager of NCSAPD used the occasion to reassure the young volunteers of the availability of certificates and financial support. He announced that the sum of 770 million FCFA has been offered to six thousand volunteers in the country.

In the North West Region, seven hundred and fifteen young volunteers benefited from the sum of 92 million 794 thousand 539 francs CFA. The amount was allocated to the other divisions as follows :

DivisionNumber of associationsAmount allocated
Donga Mantung9211,939,997

The Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education while addressing the population, congratulated victims of the Babessi flood for their show of courage demonstrated by their massive attendance to the ceremony. He under scored the importance of reunification which he said is an important step in national unity which equally coincides with the national youth day. He said some innovative ideas have been implemented during this edition of the National youth week. This comprises of tree planting campaigns and other activities all aimed at combating climate change. He said this edition of the National Youth day is marked by the effective launching of the NCSAPD as well as the senatorial and municipal election. He reminded youths of the importance to reflect on the future and to inculcate values of solidarity, be responsible and courageous and to engage the motion of volunteerism and development.

The ceremony was marked by the donation of gifts to the flood victims and a visit to the flood site.

By Francisca DIONE, North-West Region

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