During the pre-summit meeting held at the Nigerian embassy in the United Kingdom on the sidelines on the Commonwealth Youth Network Leaders Summit, Layne Robinson Head of Social Policy of Commonwealth Secretariat commended the Nigerian Government for its continued commitment to youth development.
In his remarks, he thanked Nigeria for offering to host the Commonwealth Youth Secretariat in Abuja and offering to host the Commonwealth Youth and Students Summit for the African region.
The pre- summit meeting had in attendance members of the summit taskforce and youth networks leaders from 54 Commonwealth countries attending the youth network leaders summit in London.
The Commonwealth Youth and Students Summit for the African region will hold in Abuja from 7th to 11th May 2023. It aims to bring together youth and students to amplify their voices and contribute meaningfully to youth development in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, and digital divide.
Expected participants of the summit are national youth and students organisations in the 21 Commonwealth member countries in Africa .
The summit will be hosted by the Nigerian Government in collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Council, Commonwealth Students Association and Pan African Youth Union.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and sports, Mr Sunday Dare said Nigeria is ready to host the young people of the Commonwealth and, “Although the event is being hosted by the Nigerian government the ownership of the events belongs to the youth.”
The Minister also said that the thematic areas chosen by the youth task force are apt for this post covid era that has cast a shadow on decent jobs and wealth creation for young peope as we know it.
The Minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Youth and ICT, Ann Kemi Areola, reassured the youth of Nigeria’s commitment to youth development in Africa and informed them that Abuja looks forward to hosting them.
Mr Benjamin Fraser, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Students Association said, “The Summit will provide a great opportunity for the youth and students in Africa to network and partner with youth and students organisations.
“This offer by the Government of Nigeria is huge and the Commonwealth Students Association are incredibly grateful. It is important to emphasize more on implementing the outcome of this Summit because the thematic areas which are; entrepreneurship, digital education, and decolonization of education curricular. These are very relevant to the yearnings of the youth and students in Africa.”
In her remarks, Christabel Derby, the Deputy Chairperson on Inclusion in the Commonwealth Youth Council(CYC) said, “the CYC appreciates the support to host its secretariat by the Nigerian Government at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Ministerial taskforce meeting during in Kigali, Rwanda.
Sushil Ram, Program Manager and Youth Adviser of The Commonwealth Secretariat, in the closing remarks, emphasised the need to ensure proper planning and strategy
as he reiterated the need for the youth task force to commence necessary activities within strict timelines in order to achieve the desired objectives from the summit in the weeks to come.