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Cameroon celebrates Youth Day on February 11

Cameroon celebrates Youth Day on February 11. This day is dedicated to getting the nation’s young people involved in constructive activities, instilling the spirit of leadership in them and encouraging them to participate in culture and society.

A little history about this holiday

Cameroon has been celebrating Youth Day since 1966. In fact, on February 11, 1961, in a referendum during which the two parts of Cameroon (Anglophone and Francophone) voted “yes” to being united (reunification), in the young state led by a 49-year-old prime minister, it was understood that “young people are the spear of the Nation and play an important role in the socio-economic and political future of the country, and they should actively participate in building a prosperous Cameroon.” From then on, the Ministry of Youth, Education and Sports was established to consider and fulfill this wish of Prime Minister Ahmadou Ahidjo, who went on to become president. This holiday was crucial in engaging young people in a wide variety of events and activities to build the country.

During this day, youth groups across the country participate in parades, learning workshops, public musical performances, tree planting, community services, sport competitions and other self-organized activities.

It must be said that the major Youth Day activities last a week. The government sponsors “youth congresses” in the capital Yaoundé, where issues such as youth violence, social injustice for young Cameroonians, climate change and other various youth-related matters are addressed. Youth representatives at these congresses contribute by helping to find solutions for national issues that affect them.

Traditionally, on February 10 at 8 p.m., the President of the Republic himself offers his wishes to the youth in a fatherly speech that, while reviewing what has already been done, opens up to the current challenges.

For the 55th Youth Day in 2021

Also, last Monday, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education (Minjec) Mounouna Foutsou was in Maroua, in the city of Meri, for the launch of the 55th Youth Day. He was accompanied by important figures in youth development such as the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training Issa Tchiroma Bakary, the Minister of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts Achille Bassilekin III and the Director General of the National Employment Fund Camille Mouté À Bidias. Relevant materials were also donated to help young people integrate into the labour market. These include the agricultural sector, art industry and digital economy.

For the launch of the 55th Youth Day, in addition to the support for active youth, the Conseils municipaux jeunes (CMJ) were officially established.

In his ceremonial speech, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education Mounouna Foutsou emphasized the importance of this collaboration, which aims to strengthen the participation and contribution of local Cameroonian youth to development. It must be understood that CMJs are hospitality arrangements for young people between the ages of 15 and 34 who volunteer in a one-year initiation course with a municipality. They offer their time and participation as well as gain or broaden their knowledge and skills in applied public action for local development.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education meeting in Maroua for the actual launch of the CMJ initiative with the youth and municipal officials from several localities.

Then, a visit to the craft fair held for this occasion, a place of expression for the youth.

At Collège Bilingue Jacques de Bernon, an institution in Maroua that offers training in small and medium-sized enterprises, the students prepare for this fair in many ways. Since the return in January, project teachers (agriculture, livestock, sewing and crafts) have invited all students to take part in the Youth Fair. The best creations will represent the College. Since I worked at this institution before, I was able to get some pictures.

As you can see, we do not have an easel or a painting studio… we have the schoolyard.

However, some of our students possess great natural abilities.