Youth parliament has been launched in Cameroon as part of long week activities marking the National youth day on February 11.
« The responsibilization of youths at early stage is important in boosting development in a country. The cameroonian parliament is very active, youths are been empowered and this is very positive with regard to resolutions taken by Heads of States in Banjul-Gambia » says Jean Gerard Mezui M’la, Representative of the African Union. He was speaking at the first ever held edition of the youth parliament in Cameroon which opened on February 9,2017 in Yaounde. The first youth parliament initiated by the parliamentary network « Esperance-Jeunesse » and the Ministry of youth affairs and civic education was chaired by Honorable Theophile Baoro, Deputy speaker in the National assembly. 180 youths from the ten regions that constitute Cameroon, attended a plenary session geared towards debating with members of government on socio-professional insertion and agriculture. A group of young members of parliament (MP) have expressed their mixed feelings on problems affecting their regions and have questioned different Ministers on incentives put in place in their ministerial departments in order to employ youths who mostly are jobless with diplomas. Discussions focused on the theme : « opportunities and obstacles in the socio-economic and professional insertion of Youth in the agro-pastoral sector » with as key actor the Minister delegate at the ministry of agriculture and rural development, Clementine Ananga Messina challenging MPs to initiate projects related to agriculture, work hard to serve as example for their peers in order to valorise the agro-pastoral sector which yields good fruits nowadays.
The President of the National Youth council of Cameroon, John Afesi Mbafor in his speech addressed youths and praised this initiative that will enhance the potentials of young people. He said : « the young parliamentarians are gathered for their first session on the hills of the launching of the special Youth Plan which is focused essentially on four sectors which could consist a comparative advantage for our nation, amongst which agriculture,prescribed to us by the Head of State Paul Biya…» John Afesi Mbafor said the selected 180 young MPs of Cameroon just like the indomitable lions are ready to roar and fight for the development of this sector and our nation as a whole. Honorable Gaston Komba, President of the the parliamentary network « Esperance-Jeunesse », on his part saluted the brilliant and engaged MPs who have distinguished themselves among other youths. He said they are faced with an important opportunity of their life, that of exchanging with members of government on problems plaguing their sector. He added : « We are not giving you a salary for your participation at this first session but we are granting you the per diem of your life. It is an opportunity to be seized ».
The session ended with the key note of the Minister of youth affairs and civic education, Mounouna Foutsou and the putting to vote of ten resolutions. The young MPs amongst others have adopted the following resolutions: the teaching of agriculture and livestock as a subject in primary and secondary schools ; the putting in place of a financial mechanism to help youths undergoing their trainings in technical higher and professional schools in the country ; the putting into contribution of our researchers and engineers in the domain of soil studies ; encourage and sustain the initiative of parliamentarians in the promotion and valorization of youth entrepreneurship and agro-pastoral activities.
By Elise Kenimbeni