On September 30 to October 1, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi visited Somalia to reiterate his unwavering commitment to empowering young people to participate in development and peace processes.
“Young people in Somalia have paid the highest price of conflict and instability,” said Mr. Alhendawi. “I have witnessed the challenges first-hand, but I am confident that the determination of youth and right investment in them will transform the country. Young people have the potential to become drivers for peace and stability.”
People under 30 years old represent more than two-thirds of Somalia’s population – one of the largest demographic youth bulges in the world. As a result of over 25 years of conflict in Somalia, two generations of youth have been denied education, employment and even a chance at a normal and peaceful life. Somalia has one of the lowest school enrolment rates in the world, with only four out of 10 children in school. Two thirds of the country’s youth are unemployed and lack access to opportunities. Because of this social and economic marginalization, young people are increasingly turning to crime and radicalization and are at risk of being recruited by armed groups.
In meetings with high-level Federal Government officials and youth organizations, Mr. Alhendawi reiterated his support to developing the National Youth Policy, which is being developed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to empower young men and women to play their role in bringing peace and stability to Somalia.