“Remember That You Are Cameroon's Present And Future”

Head of State’s Message to Youth on the occasion of the 58th edition of the Youth Day.

“My Dear Young Compatriots,
I always have the same pleasure and the same emotion in addressing you, as is the tradition, on the eve of Youth Day celebration. It has always been a great and special opportunity
for me, an ideal moment for you and me to reflect on issues that are at the centre of your concerns and your aspirations. As with other youths the world over, the issues concern your education, your integration into the job market, your participation in nation building and, simply put, your future. I can assure you that these issues have always been and will continue to be at the core of my priorities and, hence, of Government action.

My Dear Young Compatriots,
Before addressing these structural issues, I would like to mention two recent events which, I am aware, are particularly dear to your hearts. Like me, you were certainly disappointed by the early elimination of our Indomitable Lions from the ongoing Africa Cup Nations in Côte d’Ivoire. I congratulate you for demonstrating dignity in defeat as you have done in victory so many times before. Rest assured that we will keep up the fight and that we will win again. After all, as you so aptly put it using a term the secret of which you alone have, we are the Continent.
However, victory does not happen by chance. It requires not only talent, but also courage, discipline, organization and hard work. That is definitely the secret of our compatriot, Francis Ngannou, who marvelled the entire world in his maiden boxing fight. I am aware of the importance of football to you. In our difficult context, the State is making enormous financial sacrifices in that connection, and is therefore entitled to require better organization and results. We will see to it. The Government and particularly the Ministry in charge of sports have received clear instructions in that regard.

My Dear Young Compatriots,
I am aware that, like your parents, you are concerned about the recent hike in fuel pump prices. You are also worried about the impact that it could have on your living conditions. I wish to assure you that the requisite efforts have been made to maintain the adjustment at a reasonable level. I have also instructed the freezing of the prices of cooking gas and kerosene in order to preserve household purchasing power. You should know that this operation was inevitable, owing to the current budget constraints and our desire to avert shortages. Apart from the various support measures decided by me, constructive discussions are ongoing between the Government and its social partners. They seek to preserve the viability of the activities of the relevant sectors and the interests of users and consumers.

My Dear Young Compatriots,
For many years now, the bulk of the State budget has been devoted to the education sector. This reflects the importance the authorities attach to your education. Over the years, and at all levels of our educational system, new infrastructures have been built and more teachers trained and deployed. Curricula are regularly reviewed in order to evermore progress in professionalizing teaching, our goal being to improve education-job matching. In this connection, I have instructed the Government to set up a competitive skills development mechanism. Such is the idea behind the Secondary Education and Skills Development Support Project for Growth and Employment. 
It helps to finance initial and continuing worker training. It also seeks to build the capacity of
stakeholders in the social economy and the informal sector where many young people operate .I have also prescribed the reduction of school fees in vocational training centres of excellence from 500 thousand CFA francs to 50 thousand CFA francs to enable the greatest number of youths to access quality training.Besides the commissioning of the new National
Trainer Training and Programmes Development Centre, I am pleased to mention the commissioning of the Maroua, Ngaoundere, Yaounde, Douala, Bamenda and Bafoussam Vocational Information and Counselling Centres, from where youths can now obtain information on various opportunities in the job market.

My Dear Young Compatriots,
In addition to recruiting a significant number of youths in the Public Service each year, the State is increasing initiatives to boost job creation in the private sector, and to encourage self-employment. This cannot be overemphasized. Self-employment is one of the best ways to achieve socio-professional integration, as neither the State nor the private sector can absorb the growing number of young people entering the labour market each year. This approach is consistent with the Special Three Year Youth Plan launched in 2016. It has already funded thousands of youth-focused projects. Similarly, the Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme contributed to the establishment of over 12 000 new businesses in 2023, creating nearly 22 000 direct jobs. While these strides are definitely encouraging, I am fully aware that they remain inadequate considering the number of young job-seekers. That is why I urge you to seize the opportunities offered by the implementation of the Three-Year Integrated Import Substitution Plan 2024-2026 to engage in productive activities. It will enable you not only to make yourselves useful to your country, but also to find the wherewithal to fend for yourselves.

My Dear Young Compatriots,
I would like to take this opportunity to hail the work of the various bodies set up to facilitate the social integration of youths. Such is the case of the National Youth Council which currently comprises 14 000 youth organizations and decentralized bodies. The same is true of municipal and regional youth councils. They have enabled nearly 8 000 youths to voluntarily commit to learning how to manage public affairs ...



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