Plan of action for youth empowerment launched

A Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) that aims at engaging and empowering young people to enhance their contribution to development has been launched locally as part of a wider effort across the region.

The Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and the Commonwealth Secre-tariat initiated PAYE, which is a framework for Commonwealth action in youth affairs as it is a functional document.

Regional Director of CYP Henry Charles told reporters at the launch yesterday that they have looked around the region and made several critical observations with respect to young people.

He said young people are key stakeholders in the development process yet observations have revealed that they are not organized.

According to him, PAYE is aimed at getting youths organized to consequently have a viable national body that can make representation on their behalf.

He said PAYE also seeks to stimulate and guide action by other developmental partners such as intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, women’s organizations and youth groups.

Yesterday Charles and a team took the media through the steps of the global plan in an effort to enhance the coverage of youth development issues locally as government implements the 13 action points outlined in PAYE.

The Plan of Action urges that young people be recognized as assets to their societies; that they are engaged in decision-making, as partners in democracy and development and for capacity building among young people.

Proposals of PAYE include developing and implementing measures to promote the economic enfranchisement of young people; strengthening social support systems and collaboration between key stakeholders in youth empowerment; improve access to information and communication technology (ICT) and engaging young people to protect the environment.

Charles noted that PAYE does not seek to replace any plan government already has in place, but instead can be used as a model strategic plan that governments can integrate, reshape and adapt in a way that is most relevant to their own national youth development agenda.

Further, he added that many young people are never sensitized to plans such as PAYE so much focus would be placed on marketing PAYE publications and distributing them in the widest way possible.

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