By Ruth Akinwunmi-King
The Youth and Sports Minister: Launching the 1st Youth Conference that would bring South Sudanese youth together and achieve the African Agenda 2063 aspirations
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, chaired by Dr Ashraf Sobhi, is preparing to launch the 1st inclusive national youth conference for south Sudanese youth from various backgrounds. The conference is organized as part of the 3rd “Unity of the Nile Valley… Future Visions” Project under the theme “For South Sudan”, and launched by (the Central Administration of Cultural and Voluntary Programs – African Youth Bureau) in cooperation with the South Sudan National Youth Union, the South Sudanese Ministry of Youth and Sports and Cairo University Khartoum Branch, from 3-8 April 2021, at the Olympic Center, Maadi.
This falls under Egypt’s foreign policy towards the enhancement of Egyptian-African relations, with the objective of building on President El-Sisi’s role played during the historic visit to South Sudan in order to hold the “Egyptian -South Sudanese” Summit. This latter dealt with discussing various issues on joint cooperation between the two countries and ways to strengthen bilateral ties, thus contributing to the realization of the two brotherly countries’ common interests and the operationalization of the visit’s outcomes to pay attention to African youth-related issues.
The 1st South Sudan Youth Cairo National Conference will be attended by 200 youth leaders of both genders aged between 18 and 35 years, in addition to the most influential groups in society, namely: civil society activists and academics from different backgrounds in various fields, journalists and media professionals, and young Egyptian researchers concerned with the South Sudan file.
The conference calendar would include discussion about several themes on the importance of security stability in the nation-state building and address the cultural institutions’ role in knowledge building and the civil society role in development and construction. Therefore, the conference seeks to integrate youth and women in social peace and enhance bilateral ties between Egypt and South Sudanese at the youth level to effectively combat corruption in national construction and development. In addition, workshops will take place to build participants capacities in the fields of the nation-state, the culture of dialogue, peacebuilding and civic education.
In this context, Dr Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, affirmed that the 1st South Sudan Youth Cairo National Conference was to show the interest of the political leadership and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in African youth-related issues, especially South Sudan, which has historical relations with Egypt. He also mentioned the ministry’s endeavour to enhance the concepts of dialogue and leadership, and innovation in order to achieve the African Agenda 2063 aspiration, build youth capacity and reach an Africa whose development is youth-driven.
Sobhi explained that the conference aimed to promote the values and culture of peace among youth and build the young leaders’ capacities by consolidating the concept of State and institutions building, as well as the capacity to manage the rich diversity in South Sudan: different culture and languages. This would be achieved by promoting the values of dialogue between youth, decision-makers and stakeholders. He added that the conference also aimed to deepen relations and viewpoints between the youth of the Nile Valley and promote the values of democracy and good governance, demonstrating their role in combating corruption and building national institutions, as well as to convey youth recommendations to the concerned authorities.