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‘Stakeholders should invest in youths’

By: Elia Joseph Loful

United Nations Youth Envoy to South Sudan Jayathma Wickramanayake has called on the government, civil society, development partners and faith-based organizations to invest in young people in the country.

“This is not something that someone from the United Nations can do alone but you should understand as government, civil society, as member states and donors, that the main important thing is to invest in young people,” Wickramanayake said.

Speaking at the launch of South Sudan State of Adolescent and Youth Report for 2019 in Juba yesterday, Wickramanayake emphasized that it was a collective responsibility of everyone to ensure that young people were given attention adding that their policies should be formulated.

“We have a responsibility to invest in the framework, in the laws, in the policies and in the programmatic activities to have a social cohesion in the society,” she said.

The Envoy stressed that authorities could fail the world if joint effort was not put in place to focus on young generation development.

“If you don’t put special consideration, especially in a country like South Sudan, where most population are young people, then you are failing young people, and even the whole world,” she reiterated.

In his closing remarks Deng Deng Hoc Yai said the government is committed to create employment to reduce unemployment rate adding that unemployment was a global problem, which is affecting youths worldwide.

“I think youth employment or unemployment is a massive challenge not only in South Sudan, but the whole African continent and the world. And that is why it is a global issue,” the Minister said.

He said they will exert more effort to address youth unemployment by creating more opportunities to access reliable jobs.

Mary Marle Jual, the UNFPA representative said adolescent rate contributed to low enrolment in the education sector in the country saying there were so many drop outs in secondary schools than in primary levels, mostly among girls.

The population census for 2008 gave South Sudan youth population at 73.7% of the total population is below 30 years old according to UNFPA report.

A report by United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) in 2015 stated that, “12% of girls who dropped out of primary School did so because of pregnancy or early marriage, while 20% of secondary school girls dropped due to pregnancy or marriage.”

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