By Lansana Fofanah………………………..
The Africa Alliance of the Young Men Christian Association has called on the government to create more avenues where youths can realise their potentials in becoming national leaders.
Speaking at the Ministry of Youth Affairs conference hall, Stadium Hostel, the General Secretary of the Alliance based in Kenya, Carlos Sanvee said that the people of Sierra Leone are resilient people who have gone through the civil war and the Ebola but have conquered all those obstacles and now smiling as if nothing ever happened.
Mr. Sanvee said that Africa Agenda 2063 will only become a reality if African youths are given the tools they need to prepare for the leadership challenges ahead. “We want to see Africa becoming greater where Europeans will be yearning to come to Africa instead of us going to their continent” he said.
Mr. Sanvee said that YMCA believes that Africans should not go to bed hungry, go without education and health, and the only way to ensure that is to empower the youth.
Mr. Sanvee said that when African countries are approaching elections, that is, the time youths are considered and treated with seriousness, but after elections, they are totally abandoned.
The Minister of Youths Affairs, Bai Mahmoud Bangura said that it is hard to see a youth that is not a beneficiary of YMCA’s project as he himself realised his leadership potential through YMCA.
The Minister said that in order to show government’s dedication to youth affairs, Sierra Leone is the first country to domesticate the Africa Youth Charter, the setting up of National Youth Council, and the creation of a Youth Ministry, and youths are dominant in all the councils in the country.
The National General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Christian Kamara said that youth can only realise their potentials if they are being considered as citizens rather than subjects.
Mr. Kamara said that youth have been brain washed to believe that they are the leaders of tomorrow ‘a tomorrow that never comes’. “The goal of YMCA is to see more youths in governance come 2018”
The Chairman for the event, Mr. Alphonso Manley said that over forty slums have now been transformed into training centers through the efforts of YMCA, and that financial loans are being given to petty traders thereby helping them to sustain their livelihood.