OUR rapidly burgeoning youth population represents a huge untapped resource that can be transformed into effective nation builders.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted this when delivering his keynote address at the 2020 international youth day celebrations today.
The Prime Minister said by engaging and empowering our youths in social, cultural, economic, political, and spiritual development, we can provide a platform upon which Solomon Islands can achieve long-term sustainable, social, economic development, peace and security.
“Seventy percent of the Solomon Islands’ population is below the age of 34 years. This generation of young Solomon Islanders will inherit and drive the future development of Solomon Islands,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said it is therefore important that any development the government undertakes must fulfil the needs of our young people.
He said it must also equip them with the capacity to effectively transition into adulthood so that they can help create a ‘future Solomon Islands’ that they and their children can live happily in, in peace and prosperity.
“This outcome calls for a new approach to youth development, in which government in partnership with all stakeholders must actively promote and provide opportunities for all young people to develop and prosper as fully engaged, responsive and productive citizens,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said his government knows the importance of young people collaborating with the Government & Government Agencies, such as the Honiara City Council.
He said young people comprise our untapped human capital.
“My government is committed to work with you especially during these trying times, so that together, we can put in place programmes and partnerships that will put our country in a good social and economic situation when we reach the other side of this pandemic, and into the post-COVID 19 world,” he said.
The 2020 International Youth Day celebrations was held at the St Barnabas.
The theme focusses on “Channelizing Youth Power for Nation Building”.