Monday, 28 April 2008

FG pledges to invest to optimize youth potentials

The Youth Deliver the Future Conference 2008 holding at the Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja opened yesterday with the representative of the Nigerian government reiterating its commitment to increasing and improving programmes for the actualization of the development of the youth in Nigeria.

In the opening speech, Dr Hassan Lawal, representing the First Lady and the Minister of Health and the minister of Labour said, ‘The path to a glorious future for our world and the achievement of our collective development vision as represented in the Millennium Development Goals lies in massively and strategically investing in young people’s development.’ According to him, the government of Nigeria’s commitment had been exemplified with the recent launch of the new ‘National Policy on the health and development of Adolescents and other young people in Nigeria’ and looks forward to the conference outcome.

Professor Oladosu Ojengbede, Chair of the National Steering committee of the conference stated that the conference was designed to assemble policy makers and researchers to present results of studies from around the globe which all aim at improving the environment for optimizing the great potentials of youths and young people. His words, ‘Youths make up about 40% of the nation’s population our youths, the poor reproductive health indicators of youths is unacceptable and a challenge to human intellect.’ The conference aims at deliberating and unveiling solutions and interventions that would promote adolescent health globally and in Nigeria.

While welcoming participants to the conference, Professor Amy Tsui, Chair of the International Steering Committee expressed the hope that the conference would bring about tremendous knowledge to help harness the investment that lie in the youth population of every nation.

Goodwill messages came from the Bill and Melinder Gates Foundation, World Bank, World Health Organization, Packard Foundation, UNFPA, USAID, youth ambassadors and other Development partners.

Photo Credit: David Colwell (c) 2008

By Nnenna Ike

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