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Biya Announces Imminent National Action Plan For Youth Employment 

He made the announcement, Tuesday, February 10, in his traditional address to the youth.
According to the President, the action plan, prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment, will require financing of about FCFA 165 billion.

Giving reason for the birth of such a plan, Biya said, "We need a veritable national youth policy that defines programmes to enable youths to acquire patriotic and democratic values and enter the production system."

Meanwhile, Biya challenged youth to acquire the best possible qualifications in order to compete in the now very fast moving world.The President’s unusually long message, which came prior to Youth Day celebrations on February 11, was pegged on tackling the effects of the world economic crunch and facing the challenges of integrating youth into national life.

"I think that we should transcend the crisis and prepare ourselves for the recovery which will inevitably follow. For you, dear young compatriots, there is no other way out, I repeat, than to acquire the best possible qualification in order to compete," the President said.

President Biya claimed that the State is making enormous efforts for the youths and that it devotes nearly one-fifth of the national budget to youth-oriented activities in all sectors.
Biya also prided himself as a prophet who had predicted the prevalent world difficulties, which, according to him, would not completely spare Cameroon.

Hear him: "Last year at the same time, I urged you to wake up to the fundamental changes taking place in the world, changes which will shape the 21st century, and I encouraged you to prepare yourselves for them, in order to seize the opportunities that were bound to arise… I did not realise how right I was." It is in this light that Biya urged youths to rise up to the challenges by earning the best qualifications.

He reeled out a never-ending list of what government is doing to improve on the quality of education and to prepare youths for eventual employment. These, to him, include the creation of schools, the recruitment of thousands of teachers, the initiation of programmes for formal and informal education and the formulation of a veritable youth programme.

He, however, evasively refused to list government’s achievements, since, according to him, it would be tedious to do so.The President’s message comes at a time when most youth have lost confidence in government and are worried about their future due to poor governance, high level of unemployment, galloping corruption and a lack of any visible youth programme in the country.

The issue of free primary education in government schools is still elusive while there is the continuous cry of schools without the necessary logistics to promote quality education.
These have resulted in alarming emigration of the youths, poor morality and general lethargy.
According to the Head of State, "to improve youth guidance for its full participation in development activities, there are plans to put in place in 2009, the National Youth and Mass Education Committee which will be responsible for coordinating activities in these two domains."

Meanwhile, Biya said it would only be normal that in return for the sacrifices thus made by the Nation, youths should be strongly committed to the development of the country. "Beyond your personal ambitions, which by the way are legitimate, you should be asking yourselves what you can do for your country," Biya said.Regrettably, Biya did not say concretely what the country had done for the youth. This year, like in the past, he made promises, just promises.

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