Young leaders call on parliament to table the youth policy

Young leaders are calling for the urgent adoption of the long-awaited South Sudan National Youth Policy by the national parliament in Juba next week.

The policy aims at promoting a conducive environment for youth empowerment and development and fostering young people’s participation in decision-making and nation-building processes.

“The effectiveness of the youth policy is dependent on the involvement of the youth in both development, implementation and follow up of the programs,” said Fernanda Paul Macuei, Deputy Chairperson of the National Youth Union. “…active youth participation at the national level and from the states to the grassroots is very crucial.”

According to a member of the Specialized Committee on Youth and Sports at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, there have been several sideline discussions over the document but no headway.

“We are tired of workshop, we now need action instead of workshops,” Hon. Jesus Deng Atem said.

The MP made the remarks during the final briefing on Youth Development Policy and African Charter to members of parliament.

He said the assembly will need to ratify the African Youth Charter. The document calls for an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

“By next week, we are going to table the Youth Development Policy and after tabling the policy, we will ratify the charter.” Hon. Deng disclosed.

The national Minister of Youth and Sport is also pushing for the tabling of the youth policy. Dr. Albino Bol Dhieu said young people constitute 73.6% of the population in South Sudan, a significant number that requires timely investment.

“These youth if you graduate them; you have given them knowledge, but then what next? To me as the minister is to give some resources to them on loan to go and invest.” He said.

The Country Director for the United Nation Population Fund, UNFPA, stressed that the adoption of the youth development policy will signal government’s commitment to fulfilling a UN Security Council’s resolution that demands equal participation of young people in nation building.

“Enable them to engage in the process of building a sustainable peace and economic growth (and) that will begin the journey for which the nation is fulfilling the security council resolution 2419 which looks at the active participation of young people not only in the negotiation process but in building a sustainable peace.” Olajide stated.

Two weeks ago, Hon. Nyayang Lok Riek, the deputy chairperson for the Specialized Committee on Youth and Sports in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly said the Youth policy has not been tabled because the parliament has other priorities related to revitalized peace agreement. But the policy is one of the provisions of the 2018 peace deal.