November 03, 2019 (AO) – As Africa celebrates its youth, the United Nations envoy to Somalia today recognised the immense potential of young Somali women and men to contribute to peace and prosperity in Somalia.
“In my regular discussions with young Somali women and men, I have been impressed by their energy and ideas. They must be afforded an opportunity to have a meaningful role in decision-making processes, to help shape the future that is theirs,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, said.
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 4.6 million Somalis are aged between 15 and 35 years. Somali youth represent 38 per cent of the country’s population, yet they have limited access to education and employment opportunities.
“Somalia also needs to create avenues for youth to access quality education, marketable job skill training, and job opportunities, so that youth’s talents can be channelled towards the country’s development,” Mr. Swan added.
Aligned with the Somali National Youth Policy, the United Nations’ programmes focus on strengthening youth’s economic, social, and participatory capabilities, through a portfolio of over 54 million dollars.
The United Nations, supporting the African Union agenda for youth empowerment, recognises the crucial role that young generations play in supporting their countries’ agendas for peace and development.