UNSOM conducts youth sensitization workshop in Mogadishu

25 Aug 2014

UNSOM conducts youth sensitization workshop in Mogadishu

Mogadishu - Over 100 youths from five regions converged in Mogadishu on Saturday for a youth sensitization workshop facilitated by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to discuss issues of federalism in Somalia and their role in the ongoing peacebuilding efforts. 

The youth forum was graced by the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Somalia (DSRSG) Fatiha Serour and Somalia’s Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Abdi Mohamed. Both leaders urged the youth to take an active role in the peacebuilding efforts in Somalia.

“This programme was facilitated by UNSOM working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports because the Ministry is the one mandated to work on youth and sports matters and therefore we agreed that 100 Somalis attend this workshop,” said Abdiweli Jibril representative from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The youths who attended the event engaged UN and Somalia government leaders in lively debate that centered on problems the youths in Somalia face ranging from unemployment, lack of quality education and healthcare including the radicalization and insecurity that hinder them from realizing their dreams and ambitions.

“The idea is really to listen to the young people, to see how best they see their contribution to the democratic processes in Somalia in relation to the review of the constitution, their role in the election both as electorate and as potential candidates and how best to engage them meaningfully in the building of the nation, the state and a peaceful sustainable society,” said UN Deputy SRSG Fatiha Serour.

Somalia is gearing up to conduct peaceful democratic elections in 2016 and the youth are expected to take a critical role as they are the majority in the population and their vote would be a determinant factor in the upcoming popular vote.

Somali women and girls are often ignored when it comes to leadership roles in Somalia largely due to cultural barriers. Such youth forums often try to soberly discuss such important topics and girls have started voicing out their concerns.

“I am a youth and what I look forward to is my country which was destroyed by civil war to recover, I am among those who hope to take up leadership role and I learned from this forum, how to lead the country, how to form an organization as youth or learner,” Roweyda Ali Garas, a female university student said.