ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 4, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Among the guests present at the meeting were: The African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E Dr. Mustafa Sidiki Kaloko; Youth and Civic Education Minister of the Republic of Congo H.E Anatole Collinet Makosso; the State Minister and Chief of Staff of the President Mr. Firmin Ayessa and African Union Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology H.E Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga.
The main objectives of the meeting included: An endorsement of the request to host the sub-committee on sport; review the progress on the implementation of decisions of the first meeting on youth, culture and sport; and discuss the proposed theme, date and venue for the Second Session of the Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport.
A common sentiment shared by all the speakers was Africa’s need to empower the youth and foster a spirit of unity. Mr Makosso spoke on the importance of culture and sport to the development of youth. He also encouraged investing in and creating sustainable initiatives, so that the dividends would go towards developing young people.
AU Commissioner of Human Resources Science and Technology Dr Martial de Paul Ikounga described sport as a unifying factor. “We should work to ensure sport continues to unite people”, he said. Recalling African success at the recently ended the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) world championships athletics held in Beijing, Dr. Ikounga said: “We are happy that Kenya has demonstrated that Africa is on the way to actualizing its dreams.” Commissioner Ikounga also recalled that Africa’s development path is well mapped out in the continental Agenda 2063 Framework. “We don’t need to make another agenda”, he said.
While the continent is acknowledged for fostering some of the world’s top talents, some challenges still need to be addressed. There is a need to create sustainable solutions to problems that the youth face, which include unemployment and having a favorable business environment across Africa. These were the views expressed by State Minister and Chief of Staff of the President Mr Firmin Ayessa at the meeting.
The State Minister also reminded the guests that the youth are waiting for answers on three fronts: investment, opportunities and capacity building. He also touched on the Invention and Innovation meeting, which takes place every two years, as an opportunity for the youth to showcase their work and talents.
Today’s meeting took place against the backdrop of the 11th edition of the Africa Games which are due to be officially opened by Congolese President Mr Denis Sassou Nguesso on 4 September in Brazzaville, an occasion which will be attended by African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. The games this year also mark 50 years since the country hosted the first ever African Games in 1965.