The Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) on Friday September 8, 2017, held a one day dissemination seminar on the African Youth Fact book at the YMCA conference Hall in Freetown. David H. Nana, National youth Chairman of YMCA, said “For the past one year, the Africa Alliance of the YMCA have been gathering information about young people in Africa from the young people themselves through what we refer to as ‘African Youth Fact Book’ research. We collected information from young people from all walks of life: those who are living in urban and rural areas, male and female, rich and poor, from different religions, and from a large number of countries.”
According to the research findings, about 30 percent of youths said alcohol and drug are the most health concerns that they have, while 30 percent said internet usually influence their sexual behaviour and so on.
“The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the findings of this research. During this workshop, we will assess the African Youth Fact book and comments to the information gathered. After this, we will then go ahead and share the information with our friends and partners in government with the intention of helping young people to reach their full potential,” he said.
He said YMCA believes in young people and they exist for the purpose of Empowering Young People for the African Renaissance. “We run various programmes across the country targeted at empowering young people today and for the future,” he said.
In giving an overview of the seminar, Mustapha Momoh, Communications volunteer of YMCA, said the seminar aims at bringing youths from different sectors in a platform where they could discuss the Agenda 2063.
The Agenda 2063 is a development strategy established by the African Union (AU) in 2014, and is a call to action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny.
Mr. Momoh said that the key areas of the agenda are: African identity and renaissance; determining Africa’s destiny agenda for social and economic development and so on. He said the agenda 2063 aspirations are about the continent that is prosperous, inclusive and built on sustainable development practices; united and integrated; respectful of democratic principles, human rights and justice; imbued with strong cultural identity, values and ethics; and an influential global player and partner. He added that political leaders should include the agenda 2063 in their development plans so that it will reap dividend.
Joseph Kamara, a participant and also a student of Fourah Bay College, said “this is my first time of knowing about the agenda 2063. I believe if adequate measures are taken, the agenda will successful.” He added that the government and other key stakeholders should strive towards the achievement of the agenda.
He said that the research findings are applicable in Sierra Leone, adding that they are very common to the youths in the country.