Empowering Youths: Youth Connekt Cameroon Holds Steering Committee

The first session of the steering committee of the joint government-UN program better known as “Youth connekt Cameroon” was co-chaired by MINJEC and the UNDP Resident Representative in Cameroon. Together both brought together appointed representative members of public administrations and international partners. 

The steering committee meeting held to validate guidelines and documentation relating to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the program.

According to Mounouna Foutsou, Minister of Youth and Civic Education, the meeting makes  possible the access in implementing Youth Connekt Cameroon initiative since its launch in 2019. 

“The work of this inaugural session of the steering committee marks a decisive turning point, a key step in the implementation process of Youth Connekt which will allow this vast program. I am convinced, to definitely take off and reach its cruising speed in a very short time" MINJEC.

Jean Vincent de Paul Gweth, Senior Technical Advisor at UNDP and representative of the UNDP Representative in Cameroon expressed his satisfaction for the dynamism of MINJEC in favor of the implementation of Youth Connekt Cameroon.

The discussions between the participants led to the following recommendations: make the Project Management Unit operational; identify key activities to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Youth Connekt Cameroon, with a view to their inclusion in the annual work plan; suggest to their respective hierarchies the preparation of circulars for the decentralized services, attached services (projects, programs and public establishments); focus on connecting young people; and contribute to the preparation of the PTA 2022 with a view to its validation during the next session of the Committee.

First launched in 2012 in Rwanda, the ”Youth Connekt” is a joint UN-Government initiative, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which aims to connect young people to various socio-economic and political opportunities, in the goal of optimizing their empowerment and facilitating their full participation in development. 

This model of UN-Government cooperation intends to boost Africa's demographic dividend through innovation, strengthening the connection of young people to their models, their peers, available resources, skills and economic opportunities.

Having indicated its support for this initiative, the government of Cameroon, through the MINJEC, has benefited from the support of the United Nations Development Program. 

The setting up of the “Youth Connekt Cameroon” Program was done in a participatory and formal manner, through broad consultations with young people, administrations, the private sector and other stakeholders. 

To mark the high level of public support for the concept, the official launch, under the patronage of the Head of State, took place on December 9, 2019 at the Yaoundé Multipurpose Sports Palace.

For its implementation in Cameroon, five pillars have been retained, namely the interconnection of young people; employment and entrepreneurship; civic education, citizen participation and social cohesion; reducing the gender gap; and promotion of sexual and reproductive health. 

The steering committee is responsible for organizing, coordinating and supervising all the activities of the Youth connekt program. It is responsible for giving strategic direction in the execution; to examine and approve the related Annual Work Plans and Budgets (AWPB), activity reports, evaluation reports and the final report; to support the development of partnerships and the mobilization of resources; decide on the support to be granted to the various partners; to formulate directives for the attention of the Program Management Unit (PMU); guide the institutional development process and ensure the sustainability of the joint program; and approve the monitoring of the implementation of the said program.

By Ndefru Melanie

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