#BiyaSpeech: Together We Will Build A Just And Prosperous Society To Which We Aspire

President Paul Biya’s address to the youths of Cameroon was not only a call to order, providing hope for the future, but also inviting the Youths to partake in the building process of the country.

Fifteen minutes was the total time lapse of President Paul Biya’s speech to the youth of Cameroon, ahead of the 54th Edition Of The National Youth Day. While reviewing all the major issues that occurred throughout the year, his message was a call for Youths, with sound training, to emerge as responsible citizens by finding employment. Even though he acknowledged that finding employment, particularly for the youths, remains a cause for concern due to the mismatch between demand and supply for employment. The President reiterated the fact that the government, through the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, was making efforts to provide solutions.

Economic Climate Of Cameroon

President Biya, without mincing words, reminded the youths that, the current economic situation of the country was attributed to the different crises experienced over the last two decades, but that, though the global context remained uncertain, Cameroon must redouble its efforts to stay afloat on the path of emergence.

Cameroon has a lot of resources and should eschew heavy dependence on the outside world, and start making judicious use of its potential.ln this regard, President Biya lauded the country’s development policy which aims to modernize agriculture, stimulate industrialization by processing agricultural and mineral commodities, and develop digital technology.This, he continued, will reduce imports and increase exports, thereby creating new employment opportunities in the country. The Ministry Of Youth Affairs And Civic Education will continue with activities that benefit Youths in areas of education and national integration, economic integration and implementation of such programmes as the “Three-Year Special Youth Plan: Youth Connekt Cameroon”, launched recently in Yaounde, which target several hundreds of thousands of young people.
President Biya stated that over 500, 000 jobs were created last year in the modern sector of the country’s economy.


Education And Employment

The fact that one-seventh of Cameroon’s public spending under the 2020 budget allocations for all types of education reflects the importance the President and his government accord to the educational system, ”we will keep up efforts to achieve that goal by focusing on the development of our educational system…Although it’s quality has attained an acceptable level, it will continue to be accorded special attention by the Government”.
Conscious of the high rate of unemployment, because Cameroonian economy does not generate enough jobs, President Biya, in his message, stated that, “The Government and the Ministry Of Employment and Vocational Training are making every effort to provide solutions to this problem”. This was recently evidenced by the recruitment into the public service (500 translators), the army, and through the implementation of various employment assistance programmes such as “Youth Connekt”. It is going to be a challenge to the young compatriots in the upcoming decades, said the Father of the Nation.


Drugs And Alcohol Abuse Control

The multiple incidences of drug abuse also caught President Paul Biya’s attention, with the most recent case that shocked the entire country: the murder, in Yaounde, of a young mathematics teacher, by one of his students while discharging his duty as a classroom teacher.
To address this, the President has requested his Government to design “a National Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Plan” to try and curb the alarming level of abuse among Cameroonian Youths,”l am calling on the Government today to redouble its efforts to combat this scourge”, President Biya reiterated.


To Young Campatriots ln North West And South West Regions


Like a devoted father, always willing to embrace his children, the President called on the Youths in the North West and South West Regions still in the bushes to drop their weapons and come back into the society and live peaceful and normal lives, like others are already doing by enrolling in the reintegration units either in the North West or South West Region. President Biya stressed that this was for the good of Cameroon. Reminding the Youths that sixty Years ago he was in their shoes, he acknowledged that it took a lot of sacrifices to be where we are, “It took a lot of effort, but also blood and tears, to get to where we are today. Generations of Youths, like you, devoted their lives for us to get here…Today, a large majority of Cameroonians can eat to their fill, receive health care, enroll in primary and secondary schools and university, and have the right to express themselves and to vote freely”. Notwithstanding, much still has to be accomplished and that can only be achieved together, “Together, we will build the just and prosperous society to which we aspire”, President Biya, said.


The Fruits Of The Major National Dialogue


Through The Major National Dialogue and by the adoption, by Parliament of the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities and a law which guarantees the use of English and French on an equal footing, the President without delay promulgated these instruments into law, “nothing stands in the way of their application anymore”. To this President Biya said, it meets the aspiration of the citizens to better participation in the management of local affairs. In addition, the North West and South West Regions have been given special status with provisions reflecting their social and cultural specificities. This will, first, enable the maiden generation engage in the local governance sphere, and second, ease the process of decentralization, which proves that, issues related to development of the society can be resolved without resorting to violence, which has never solved any problem, but wreak suffering on the people, “We do not want this to happen to Cameroon. Our goal remains to build a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous society” President Biya underscored.


Amidst thunderous applause in the jammed filled Yaounde multi purpose sports complex, where the Youth village, in collaboration with CRTV, which deployed all its platforms (CRTV, CRTV NEWS, and CRTV WEB), to broadcast live, President Paul Biya’s message to the Youths. Of course, under the joint supervision of the Director General of CRTV, Charles Ndongo, and Mounouna Foutsou, Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, as well as youths, dignitaries and various artists, who came to commemorate the 54th Edition of the National Youth Day.
President Biya’s message to the Youths ended with an open plea to his young compatriots which states, “ For the good of our country, l need you”. What more can we ask to build this beautiful nation that belongs to none, but to an Infinite Power!.


Caroline Okie-Anoma

Danielle Mouadoume

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