Using the occasion of the recent 2020 international youth day celebrations, held at the Honiara St Barnabas Cathedral, the Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, gave the keynote address and said, “Our rapidly burgeoning youth population represents a huge untapped resource that can be transformed into effective nation builders.”
The Prime Minister went on to say, quoting the Solomon Times Online.
“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 fulfill 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 concluded.
Sources: OPMC and Solomon Times Online.
In support of what the Prime Minister has said about youth development, I have long advocated the formation of a national youth orchestra to actively pursue cultural activities with an appreciation of music education and a love of country.
As the government’s planned development take place, I would again suggest the creation of a national youth orchestra, as well as music education lessons in all high schools.
A rising population set against high unemployment and few job opportunities underscores the need for family planning and perhaps the government should begin to encourage this with a proper educational programme steered by the MOHMS.