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CHOGM 2022: Nigeria to host Commonwealth youth council secretariat

The Commonwealth youth ministerial taskforce has stated that Nigeria will be the host for the Commonwealth youth council (CYC) secretariat.

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This was announced by Sarah Mateke, Ugandan minister of state for gender, labour and social development on Thursday at the meeting of the task force — one of the series of events to mark the Commonwealth Head of Government Meetings (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Mateke said terms of reference will be stated soon to guide the secretariat.

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Earlier, Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s minister of youth and sports development, indicated the country’s interest to host the secretariat in response to a request by a member on the need to have an administrative infrastructure for young people.

Dare said the CYC would connect easily with the youth programmes in the country, in the event of the establishment of its secretariat in Nigeria.

“With about 1.5 billion youths from the Commonwealth, it is important that they have an administrative office where they can coordinate,” Dare said.

“Looking at the size of the youth population in Nigeria, which is about 150 million and also at the youth programs, like the N-Power, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) etc, I feel Nigeria will be a good place to host the CYC.

“The council can connect to the programmes we have in Nigeria, other countries can learn from that and also bring some models from other countries.

“Nigeria has always been a hub when it comes to youth development, given the size of our youths, our innovative minds and more, it would be great to have the CYC secretariat in Nigeria.”

Everton Rattary, Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) vice-chairman partnerships and resources, had earlier appealed to member-nations to host the council secretariat, adding that it would aid in executing the CYC’s projects.

“The mandate of the organisation is carried out through its administration,” Rattary said.

“The execution of our projects will only be possible if we have the infrastructure in place and it will be the starting point for people to help us re-establish it.

“So literally, if we don’t have a secretariat, it’s almost as though we are making plans, with no intention of execution.”

The CYC acts as a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led civil society and private sector bodies from across the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth.

It aims to further advance the youth development agenda by integrating young people into the development work of the Commonwealth at national, regional, and Pan-Commonwealth levels.

The council provides a sustainable platform for unified engagement with decision makers and youth-led development initiatives.

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