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Foundation partners ESUT, AU, others on youth development

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Enugu State University of Science and Technology

To enhance participation of youths in the nation’s developmental project, a non-governmental organisation, Baywood Foundation, has partnered with the African Union, as well as the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) and other agencies.

While commending President Mohammadu Buhari for signing the “Not too young to run” bill, the group maintained that the gesture has not addressed the systemic constraints to youth participation in developmental issues.

Addressing journalists on the collaboration, the founder, Chris Baywood, identified some of the challenges facing youths to include neglect, lack of engagement and effective collaboration, which have culminated in lack of opportunities for them to actively participate in governance.

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To address the seeming neglect, the foundation announced plans to commence a 12-month internship programme for about 200,000 youths drawn from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, gender and academic disciplines.

Baywood explained that during this period, each of the beneficiaries would be placed in an internship role in a relevant institution, and the objective is to position them within an environment, which provides opportunities to establish networks, upgrade knowledge levels and chart a career path.

“This initiative requires the support and cooperation of broad ranging implementation partners throughout Africa including the AU. This foundation proposal is in alignment with the African youth charter, a political and legal framework which provides a strategic framework and direction for youth empowerment and development activities at continental, regional and national levels across Africa.

“Our foundation is therefore seeking the endorsement and collaboration with the AU to provide an avenue for effective youth participation in governance, institutional transformation, effective stakeholder outreach within the continent and strengthening multi-lateral cooperation with regional political and economic communities as well as international development partners.


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