(LINA) – Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has termed youth development as a national security issue, urging the government to invest in youth preparedness to enhance the growth and development of Liberia.
Minister Nagbe opined that Liberia cannot achieve genuine development in the absence of youth development programs, especially in the midst of tangible survey results which show that about 70 percent of Liberia’s population is young people.
Speaking Monday at the National Youth Dialogue with the President of Liberia held at the Monrovia City Hall, Nagbe said the result of the survey also shows that the youths of Liberia, who are supposed to be the drivers of the nation’s democracy and development, are the ones who are being subjected to poverty, disease and hardship.
Making reference to Liberia’s brutal past, Nagbe indicated that during the nation’s civil crisis, it was a glaring fact that the youths were used to perpetrate acts of violence which plunged the nation into backwardness.
Nagbe said Liberia must now begin to chart its national development dialogue by reviewing how the nation looks at youth development and youth empowerment.
“Young people have been used as agents of conflict and instability,” Nagbe indicated, adding that “when we have war it is the same people who lead the war.”
Nagbe maintained that additional research conducted by international organizations showed that for young people to fully achieve their potentials they must be given the opportunity to serve in every aspect of society.
“They must be brought into the mainstream economy and given the opportunity to meet their potential,” Nagbe noted.
Nagbe further stressed that rudimentary capacity building must be given to Liberian youths in all sector of society and that the government must contemplate on opening new opportunities, particularly in the agricultural sector to enhance economic development and youth development.
Held under the theme: “Accelerating Youth Development through National Dialogue towards a Sustainable Pro-Poor Agenda,” the National Youth Dialogue with the President of Liberia is an interactive forum where issues of youth development are discussed by policy-makers and youth organizations to chart a course that will provide amicable solution to issues surrounding Liberian youths.