Nigeria’s Minister of Youth Development, Akinlola Olasunkanmi, announced plans for a Youth Development Fund and for eight youth centres in six regions around the country.
Senator Olasunkanmi made the announcement during Fourth National Council of Youth Development which ran under the theme, Nigerian Youth: The Challenges of Unemployment and Restiveness - The Way Forward. He highlighted the two main challenges facing young people worldwide as unemployment and restiveness, and appealed to the Federal Government to improve the state of national infrastructure by tackling energy problems from the technical, financial and manpower perspectives.
UN-HABITAT through its The Global Partnership Strategies programme promotes the creation of urban-based youth resource centers to support youth-led development and entrepreneurship. The centers are also used to train youth as peace builders by involving them in violence prevention strategies.
Prince Oyinlola told more than 500 youth representatives from the 36 Federal States of Nigeria, representatives of UN offices, NGOs, and other civil society leaders that engaging the youth positively must be a priority because youth are the leaders of tomorrow. He urged parents, guardians and teachers to pay more attention to youth development.
The event saw the launch of UN-HABITAT’s State of Urban Youth 2010/2011 report, entitled Leveling the Playing Field, by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Governor of Osun State. The Prince was presented with a best practice award for youth development in Osun State by the Nigerian Youth Habitat Network.
UN-HABITAT’s State of Urban Youth report, the first of its kind by the agency, calls for intervention and national support through policies, programmes, and business opportunities aimed at youth. Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka, Director of Monitoring and Research Division of UN-HABITAT explained that the report is based on a survey of historical and generational inequality and deprivation across four developing regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“If young people are to shape their lives, they require four main forms of opportunity; economic, social, political and cultural,” he said. This will reduce marginalization of city youth, which leaves them idle and despondent, and improve their chances for a brighter future.