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Monday, February 11, 2019

Youth Day: here is the complete speech of Paul Biya Youth Day message

Paul Biya began this nth exercise at the 53rd edition of the Youth Festival by presenting his message to the youth.

Below is the entire message:

Dear Young Compatriots,

Last year, under the same circumstances, I drew your attention to the changes that were taking place in the world. These predicted a decline in solidarity between nations and a return of national egotism.The recent evolution of the relations between the States unfortunately does not allow to question this observation.

In my mind, it was to make you understand that we had to prepare for this eventuality, first by counting on our own strength, then by becoming less dependent on the outside world. That's why I made the emergence of our country a "national cause".

It is obvious that you are already there, and you will be even more so in the coming years, the main actors. It is not useless to recall that for most nations, and ours in particular, every generation had to mobilize, at one time or another, to win a cause that it considered just and necessary.

For our founding fathers, it was independence, inseparable from national unity. For their successors, the establishment and consolidation of the institutions of the new state. For the next generation, the advent of democracy and social progress. For today's, the modernization of the economy and social justice.

As far as you are concerned, it is first of all about defending all our assets in order to better lead the fight for emergence. Much has been done in recent years to improve our economic fabric. It will be up to you to continue along the same path. You will need to implement our major projects of agricultural revolution, industrialization and infrastructure, not to mention those in the social field, such as education, health and housing.

During my swearing last November, speaking to you, I asked you not to lose hope. I repeat it today. Indeed, I do not ignore your difficulties. I understand your desire for change and your desire to be more involved in decisions that affect your future. I tell you again: the Cameroon of tomorrow will be with you.

My dear young compatriots,

The year 2018 was marked by the holding of the presidential election. You have participated enthusiastically, either as voters, as candidates or as actors in the electoral process. This participation is encouraging because it reflects your interest in the affairs of your country.

This interest must be strengthened and pursued. It differs from a practice that has become commonplace expressed through social networks and gives rise to worrying excesses.

While the principle of this form of direct democracy is not reprehensible in itself, it can unfortunately be seen that it often results in outrageous statements about authorities, political actors or ordinary citizens. This way of doing politics often breaks not only democratic principles, but the law.

There is another way, more responsible and more recommendable, to play politics.By definition, this refers to the management of the company. By voting, standing for election, being elected municipal or regional councilor, deputy or senator, we make politics in the noble sense of the term. If you have the ambition, do not hesitate to embark on this path for the good of your country.

If you realize it, you will participate in the construction of a just, democratic and fraternal society based on our socio-cultural realities and our historical heritage, a society that our people want.You will thus contribute to the search for solutions to the difficulties that many of our young people encounter in finding a job, starting a family, breaking free from outdated ancestral customs and resisting the temptation of clandestine emigration, which causes a lot of victims.

You will also not have to give in to idleness that can lead to bad behavior, such as delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse. The government will have to take urgent measures to fight mercilessly against these scourges that undermine our youth and ultimately threaten the future of our country.

My dear young compatriots,

In recent years, I have not remained insensitive to your difficulties and your aspirations. During my swearing, I made a new commitment to facilitate the social integration of young people.

Apart from recruitments in the defense and security forces as well as in some sectors of education, several ministerial departments have implemented programs that concern you particularly.

In this context, the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education has:

- engaged in the campaign of civic education and national integration that has affected more than one million young people and led to the training of 1300 Called by the National Civic Service for Development Participation;

- promotes volunteering which has trained thousands of volunteers for development and support activities in education and health in priority areas;

- supported community life through the supervision of youth organizations;

- achieved the socio-economic integration of young people by training several thousand of them, some of whom are entrepreneurs;

- finally, and above all, implemented the Triennial Plan "Special Youth" which concerns more than 600 thousand people.

Nearly 4,000 projects have been developed in agriculture, industry, the digital economy and innovation. Adequate funding is also planned.

Several other ministerial departments have also carried out activities devoted to the training and integration of young people into the world of work. I will mention in particular the efforts made by our various ministries in charge of education for professionalisation.

Despite these remarkable actions, our country still faces the problem of youth unemployment. The reason is known: our economic activity is not sufficiently sustained to absorb the tens of thousands of young people who arrive each year on the labor market. This also explains why many of them, to avoid unemployment, have to accept under-qualified jobs.

From a social point of view, this situation is not without negative consequences.That is why I will continue:

- to urge the government to take measures to revive the economy;

- to urge economic operators of all origins to invest in Cameroon,

- to advise our young people to seize any employment opportunities that arise.

You will therefore have to become committed actors in our new so-called second-generation agricultural policy. In the same way, you will have to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the implementation of our plan of industrialization and the development of digital. The objective is to reach a level of growth compatible with our ambition of emergence.

In this respect, we can be reasonably optimistic, as our growth rate is again on the upside. According to forecasts, after 3.8% in 2018, it could be 4.4% in 2019 and 4.7% in 2020, with positive spin-offs for youth employment.

Besides these encouraging prospects for the return of growth, it is worth mentioning the part that goes to the promotion of employment provided by the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training.More than 500,000 jobs were created in 2018 thanks to major projects underway, agricultural, road and infrastructure projects, as well as work carried out by decentralized local authorities.

Regarding vocational training, the law of 11 July 2018 paves the way for the modernization and standardization of the training offer. Professional training centers of excellence are now operational in Douala, Limbe and Sangmelima.Approved training structures, public and private, welcomed last year nearly 40 thousand learners.

In 2019, it is planned to create at least 500 thousand jobs. The government will continue the operationalization of a job forecasting system. The strategic axes of the priority action plan of the national employment policy will continue to be implemented.

Access to vocational training will be improved, both by the diversification of the sectors and the densification of the training offer in new centers. The level of this one will be raised thanks to the opening in Yaoundé of the National Institute of Formation of the Trainers and the Program Development.

What I have just said shows the extent of the efforts made by the public authorities to give our young people quality training and facilitate their integration into working life.

My dear young compatriots,

The past few years have not been easy for our country economically and safely.Thanks to the virtues of our people, including their courage and selflessness, we not only overcame our hardships, but continued our march forward. There is an example for our youth from which they can learn.

Finally, I remind you that the tests have the positive effect that they reinforce the determination. So, for my part, I am determined to carry out with you our common project of a democratic, just and prosperous society. This can only be considered in a Cameroon united in its diversity.

I count on you.

Happy Youth Day to you all!

Long live the Cameroonian youth!

Long live Cameroon!