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UNICEF supports youth policy review consultations

© UNICEF South Sudan/2012/Alex
About half of South Sudan's population is under 18.

By Jairus Ligoo

MALAKAL, South Sudan, 10 July 2012 - The final inter-state consultation on the revision of the South Sudan Youth Policy just concluded in Malakal, Upper Nile state with a resounding call by key stakeholders to support the revision of the South Sudan Youth Policy and efforts towards ensuring the development of the country’s youth.

The consultation in Malakal was the last in a series of consultations that saw stakeholders come together from all the ten states of South Sudan to deliberate and provide input to the revision of the existing policy document that was developed prior to the independence of South Sudan, 9 July 2011.

The consultations supported by UNICEF are part of an initiative supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with an aim to enhance the development and participation rights of South Sudanese youth. This is the first time stakeholders including youth are coming together to engage in youth policy dialogue.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the UNICEF Chief of the Malakal Field Office, David Igulu encouraged the youth to speak with one voice and for the adults to lend an ear to young people. “To sustain a forest, we need to ensure the young trees grow”, Mr Igulu said, alluding to the fact that the youth are the future of this young nation.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in Upper Nile State Hon. Awer Dauo during his opening statement, reiterated his Ministries support in ensuring a new revitalised document reflecting the wishes of young people.

The consultation was attended by more than 60 representatives from government, civil society including youth organisations from Unity and Upper Nile states. The Malakal consultation was preceded by two other consultations that took place in Juba, Central Equatoria state and Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal state.

For Rajab Ismail 19 from Manyok County, Upper Nile state, he could not hide his joy at being part of the consultation. “This is my first workshop to attend, and I’m happy to see fellow youth sharing their ideas. Having young people contribute towards their youth policy is important”, Mr. Ismail said.

At the closing ceremony, the Deputy Governor of Upper Nile State, John Ibo urged the youth to live their dreams and work closely with government to ensure that the youth become part of governance.

The participants in all three consultations were able to concretely discuss and present their points of views, which will be crucial in supporting the Youth Policy review.

The South Sudan Youth Policy review is supported by UNICEF and led by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports (MoCYS).



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