More than 350 young people from across the Commonwealth are taking part in a three-day Youth Forum, where in-depth discussions are to take place around their role in shaping policy recommendations for a common future.
The forum, which opened on Sunday, is the first event of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM). The youth forum takes place under the theme: “Taking charge of our future”.
Over 60% of Commonwealth citizens are under the age of 30, and the youth forum is seen as an opportunity to exchange on youth-related challenges and explore ways to harness innovative and economic opportunities for growth .
The forum offers sessions that allow for an environment conducive to networking and exchanging ideas, building skills and generating solutions to the most pressing challenges facing young people.
Some of the issues on the agenda include unemployment, gender inequality, crime and access to quality education and training.
Darrion Narine, co-chair of an international youth task force coordinating the forum, said they had worked hard over the past few months to provide an inspiring and productive forum that will inspire young people to engage with critical issues. impacting young people across the Commonwealth.
“We hope that the next three days will provide an invaluable opportunity for the 350 young representatives present to give their views on building a future that benefits all – paving the way for a stronger and more prosperous Commonwealth,” he said. she declared.
Jacob Eyeru, a Ugandan youth representative, said the rally represented an opportunity for young people to shape their future. He said this is partly possible because of the common language, English.
“We can start being part of the conversations of the world from this capital of Rwanda to talk about climate action, innovation, young people leading progressive change in Africa,” he said.
“I’m really, really positive about Africa,” Eyeru noted.
Young leaders, entrepreneurs and activists from the 54 member states of the Commonwealth will also have the opportunity to meet heads of government in a scheduled session called “intergenerational dialogue”.
This week, 35 heads of government will be in Rwanda to participate in CHOGM, along with approximately 5,000 delegates from around the world.
Among the expected delegates are several first ladies.
In addition to the youth forum, several other groups were organized including the Heads of Government Meeting (the main event), the women’s forum, the peoples’ forum, the business forum, as well as other side events and social activities.
The Commonwealth is home to a third of the world’s population with around 2.6 billion people – out of the world’s 7.9 billion – living in the 54 Commonwealth countries.