Value Health Africa participates in National CSOs Forum on Youth Engagement in Harnessing the Demographic Dividend
Value Health Africa represented by Mr Nji Emmanuel, was privileged to be one of the CSOs invited to take part in the ”National CSOs Forum on youth Engagement in Harnessing the Demographic Dividend (DD) and Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. Cameroon, like most African nations has expressed commitments and demonstrated aspirations in delivering for the Sustainable Development Goals as well as harnessing the Demographic Dividend, both of which highlight investment in the full realization of the rights and capacities of women, girls, young people and youth - as key actors towards unleashing the potential for accelerated and sustained economic growth and development in the continent. In line with this, Women for a Change, Cameroon (Wfac) organized this forum to create space for CSOs to engage with government, in the presence of other key actors (UNFPA, UNwomen,etc) on; the implementation and domestication of the SDGs and youth engagement in harnessing the Demographic Dividend.
Nji Emmanuel and kyeng Mercy particpating
This brought together civil society participants and activists in a meaningful conversation with key stakeholders responsible for the national implementation of the development agendas, among whom were; the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development(MINEPAT), the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF), Ministry of Youth and Civic Leadership (MINJEC), United Nations agencies and other International/ national civil society entities, with expectations to come up with key actions and priorities from the National roadmap and SDGs as a means to expedite the implementation and realization process of the SDGs and demographic dividend in Cameroon.
The Forum started at about 8:30, with a welcome speech from the organizing team, Wfac Cameroon (Zoneziwoh), who applauded the presence of everyone and the various work done by the CSOs in the promotion of National Development.
Thereafter was the introduction of the of the guest speakers, which was followed by a speech from the UNFPA’s representative, who highlighted UNFPA’s role in the Demographic Dividend. He added that it now time for Cameroon and Africa at large to start transforming her raw materials to create employment for her young people; and this would only be possible if “Entrepreneurship” is the watch word for development. He went further to say that our work and contribution at the meeting was an important step in bringing more people in realizing the DD. In his speech, he reiterated the importance of unity in in achieving the DD and he concluded by stirring up the participants to be CSO Champions in harnessing the DD of Cameroon.
The participants were also addressed by the representative of MINJEC, followed by Representative of MINEPAT and Prof Endeley who made it clear that, the SDGs can never be attained, if women are left behind. She pointed out that, the fertility rate of Cameroon is still very high and Cameroon will only reap of her DD, if this factor is put under check. She added that policies should clearly state inclusion and not use general words like “youths” “young people” etc but should be concise as to what percentage of women are represented.
Prof Endeley, speaking on the need for the redefinition of Public policies to be gender inclusive
The icing of the cake was when the representative of MINEPAT, said that our contributions were going to be deliberated upon and added to Cameroon’s plan of action in the realization of agenda 2030. The meeting ended with a solid networking session accompanied by heavy refreshments.
NJI EMMANUEL T