STORY: SOMALIA: SOMALI GOVERNMENT AND UNSOM CONDUCT YOUTH SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP IN MOGADISHU
SOURCE: UNSOM PUBLIC INFORMATION
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DATELINE: 23TH AUGUST 2014, MOGADISHU, SOMALIA
Mogadishu, 13 August 2014 –Over 100 youths from five regions on Saturday converged in Mogadishu for a youth sensitization workshop facilitated by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to discuss about the thorny issue of federalism in Somalia and their role in the ongoing peacebuilding efforts.
The youth forum was graced by the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Somalia (DSRSG) Fetiha Serour and Somalia’s Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Abdi Mohamed. Both leaders urged the youth to take an active role in the peacebuilding efforts in Somalia.
“This program was facilitated by UNSOM working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports because the Ministry is the one mandated to work on youth and sports matters and therefore we agreed that 100 Somalia to attend this workshop,” said Abdiweli Jibril of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The youths who attended the event engaged UN and Somalia government leaders in lively debates that centred on problems the youths in Somalia youth face ranging from unemployment, lack of quality education and healthcare including the radicalization and insecurity that hinder them for realizing their dreams and ambitions.
“The idea is really to listen to the young people, to see how best they see their contribution to the democratic processes in Somalia in relation to the review of the constitution, their role in the election both as electorate and as potential candidate and really how best to engage them meaningfully in the building of the nation here, the state and a peaceful sustainable society,” UN Deputy SRSG Fetiha Serour said.
Somalia is gearing up to conduct peaceful democratic elections in 2016 and the youth are expected to take a critical role as they are the majority in the population and their vote would be a determinant factor in the upcoming popular vote.
Somali women and girls are often ignored when it comes to leadership roles in Somalia largely due to cultural barriers. Such youth forums often try to soberly discuss such important topics and girls have started voicing out their concerns.
“I am a youth and what I look forward to is my country which was destroyed by civil war but is now recovering and I am among those who hope to take up leadership roles and so what did I learn from this forum, I learnt how to lead the country, how to form an organization as youth or learner,” Roweyda Ali Garas, a female university student said.
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