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Somali youth meet over peace-building initiatives.

About 30 Somali youth are meeting in Mogadishu on Monday to discuss how to take leadership roles to bring about social transformation and how to promote rebuilding in the Horn of Africa nation.

The week-long competitive United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-backed Youth Leadership Program (YLP) will also see young men and women seek ways of spearheading innovative ideas in reducing barriers to employment and economic development in Somalia.

UNDP Somalia Deputy Country Director David Akopyan who opened the meeting said the Horn of Africa nation has progressed quite far in recent years, on a very challenging road to peace and development.

“The road is still with many bumps, and at the recent Oct. 14 tragic attack, which devastated many families, we at UNDP lost a dear colleague, and four more people we worked closely with were killed in the blast. But we need to heal and together move forward,” Akopyan said.

“UNDP’s next program will work much closer with youth and for youth. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are there for you to work with to ensure that Somali society moves from exclusion to inclusion and to more participatory political processes and economic development,” he said.

The training program which runs until Nov. 5 and selected participants will then go on to the larger regional event in Egypt in December, where they will receive further training, networking opportunities, and meet potential investors for their ideas.

The program is run by UNDP Somalia and UNDP Arab States, in partnership with Danleey organization and the Somali Federal Government.

Salad Addow, Director of Danleey, said his organization is working to make all Somali youth informed and actively engaged in the matters that affect them, to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and developed nation that creates opportunities for all.

Youth leadership programme opens in Mogadishu on October 27th, 2017. PHOTO: UNDP/ TWITTER

“This training is a transformational step to peace and development as young people represent a major portion of the population. Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow,” he said.

The program is the third year the event has been run as part of an annual “youth4peace” initiative that aims to support young men and women across the Arab states region to come up with innovative approaches to address sustainable development challenges, in particular gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The young people will receive support to transform their ideas into innovative, impactful and sustainable development solutions, whether these be social enterprises, nonprofit initiatives, or campaigns. 

Monday October 30, 2017

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