The UN System in Cameroon in partnership with the Cameroon National Youth Council organized a Youth Outreach event on the “Role of Youths in the Post 2015 Development Agenda” on Tuesday 17 February 2015 at the UNIC Conference Room. This was chaired by the Resident Representative of UNFPA; Ms. Barbara M. Sow and the President of the National Youth Council, Mr. Jean-Marc Mbafor, as second panelist.
The discussion was a forum for exchange with youths on the “future we want”, and geared towards giving answers to the question “What is the role of youth in the post-2015 agenda?”
Ms Barbara Sow urged the more than 45 youths present to focus on their roles as individuals, citizens, and as youth in making the world a better one. Ms Sow called on youths to be constructively engaged in burning issues in Cameroon and the world. She presented her own role by stressing that «J'ai la responsabilité des vous inciter d'être les leaders d'ici 2030, les leaders qui vérifieront si le monde aura atteint les Objectives du développement durable.»
Mr. Jean-Marc Mbafor deplored the huge youth apathy observed, as youths have resigned from issues which are supposed to be theirs. Youth mobilisation is thus greatly weakened. "We need to set up institutions that enable youth to be part of the implementation of the Post-2015 agenda and institution to hold our governments accountable. But the state will never give us everything that we demand, so we need to take over some responsibilities ourselves", he emphasises.
Both panellists and the participants agreed that entry points for youth participation in governance have to be created, and that youth need to participate actively in the development of Cameroon also, in order to be taken seriously as a counterpart with whom the government can work.
At both the Open day exposition and the Youth Outreach event, Ms. Paula Hogrebe drummed support for the “MyWorld Campaign” and invited Youths to vote either on the spot or online by selecting 6 top priorities of ‘how they want the world to be’, from a list of 16 objectives.
As contribution, Youth participants stated the need of a quota of ministerial and leadership positions to be attributed to youth, and recommended that "through a youth civil service, youth should contribute to development projects in rural and disadvantaged areas. Even if service is not institutionalized, youths should go out and get engaged! Support digging a well or something alike!" These discussions which once again proved the dynamism of the Cameroonian youth were moderated by UNIC’s Jean Njita. In attendance were colleagues from UNDP/UNV, UNAIDS, WHO, ILO, UNFPA, and UNESCO.