Full participation of youth in decision- and policy-making is key

Dear Editor,
During the APNU/AFC term in Government, one would have noticed that the involvement of youth in policy-making was non-existent at the Cabinet, Parliamentary, and Local Government levels.
With this in mind, the PPP/C party made a conscious decision, when crafting and establishing their manifesto, to include a Youth Advisory Council to the President of Guyana when he was elected. This was done to create an avenue wherein young people are engaged, and would continue to be engaged, in the country’s policy-making.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic has once more demonstrated its commitment, in keeping with its Manifesto promises to the people of Guyana. The Government has allocated another $60M in Budget 2021 to the soon-to-be-established youth Advisory Council, which adds to the $25 million allocated in Budget 2020. these monies are to ensure that the Council is fully established this year.
The Youth Advisory Council’s Secretariat has already been established within the Office of the President. The monies will fund the recruitment of a Youth Empowerment Coordinator and representatives from each of the 10 Administrative Regions.
The Youth Advisory Council initiative, which was reiterated by President Irfaan Ali during his inauguration speech, promises to allow young people the opportunity to help shape their own lives in the future, as the PPP/C Administration plans to increase opportunities for youth, sports and cultural activities over the next five years.
It must be known that the youth body is not a non-governmental organisation, but one that would fall under the purview of the President.
This is to directly engage young people on issues surrounding jobs, housing, education, among other matters which allow them to be creative and available in getting everyone to work together on one task, providing the opportunity for youth. It would also allow for collaboration, and to create a finished product which would help them to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose, both as individuals and as a group, which would offer them tremendous professional development opportunities.
Fortunately, listening to young people themselves can help us keep youth interested, challenged, and prepared for the next stage of their lives. When adults believe in the capacity of young people, and create opportunities for them to lead; when young people engage, they feel valued and believe they’re an important part of their country’s development, so they show up and speak up. They practice new skills, and gain confidence so they can always maximise their potential.
Full participation of youth in decision and policy-making is key to shaping a brighter future for Guyana’s development. The PPP/C must be commented for boosting youth participation in an effort to shape a better Guyana for” all”, based on 2020-2025 Agenda principles.
We all want to live in richer societies, and have better access to education and better jobs. These aspirations of ours must make us firm believers in the Sustainable Development Goals, and staunch promoters of the PPP Government’s 2020-2025 agenda, which is now emphasising the role young people could play in implementing their agenda targets as they relate to education, infrastructure development, and poverty eradication.

David Adams