International Youth Day (IYD) 2021 was celebrated in Guinea-Bissau with an exchange forum that brought together young women and men from different youth organizations, representatives of the government, members of the diplomatic corps and media personalities to mark the official day, which is celebrated annually on August 12.
Bissau-Guinean youths discussed issues ranging from demographic dividend challenges, the power of African youths, and their need and willingness to contribute to decision-making processes, including but not limited to, the national youth charters, the Youth Peace and Security (YPS) agenda, the youth policy, and the Government's vision for the youth of Guinea-Bissau.
The day included a screening of some documentaries that portray the challenges and realities of youth, among which was Youth in Synergy: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Change documentary, co-created by UNDP and the European Union (EU).
The event was well attended and witnessed the participation of the President of the National Youth Council (NYC), the Secretary of State of Youth and Sports, EU´s Representative, and UN agencies representatives, including the UNDP Resident Representative.
According to Aissatu Forbs Djalo, President of the National Youth Council, ‘’Young people need to participate in the life of their neighborhood, their region, and their nation. Get mobilized. This is the century and the country of the youth.”
Sporting activities were also held in the lead-up to the day.
The main takeaway at the end of the event was that a wide array of actors, spanning from political to social actors, to youth associations and organizations were sensitized and confirmed their commitment to youth matters, which was clearly evidenced in their speeches and interaction with the young women and men present at the event.
With gapping unemployment among the youth, it is expected that this commitment by the relevant actors translates into concrete actions and tangible results for a youth buoyed by the good practices such as entrepreneurship and creative economy, volunteering and social mobilization that were committed to by the public officials and partners present at the event.
The exchange forum was broadcasted through UNDP digital platforms, youth social media, and official radios as well as the national TV.