Strengthen democracy with jobs for the youth – Commonwealth Africa head tells governments

General News of Sunday, 16 September 2018



Mr John Apea, head of Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Africa

The Royal Commonwealth Society, Africa is urging governments in the sub-region to pursue aggressive socio-economic policies that will provide jobs for the teeming youth.

The Society recognizes youth unemployment and its attendant vices as a major strain on the young democracies.

In a statement to mark International Day for Democracy which falls on Saturday, September 15, 2018, the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Africa head Mr John Apea said a sustained economic growth with targeted interventions aimed at solving the unemployment situation in the sub-region will be one of the key factors towards easing the strain on the fragile democracies.

This year’s celebration is under the theme: “Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World”

Democracy and respect for human rights are some of the key pillars and values of the RCS.

However, youth unemployment, economic inequalities, attacks on journalists appear to be taking away from the efforts at consolidating democracy across the sub-region.

The United Nations as part of the theme for this year’s celebration said governments must invigorate democracy partly by “tackling economic and political inequalities, making democracies more inclusive by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system, and making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges such as migration and climate change.”

This Mr Apea fully agrees with and urged governments to take full advantage of the many trade opportunities the Commonwealth has provided in order to improve upon the economies and provide employment for the jobless youth. “by 2019, for example, trade in the Commonwealth region, will have overtaken the European Union economy as a whole, by contributing 17.7 percent in terms of global trade, compared to the European Union’s 15.3 percent” he said.

Mr Apea further stated that respect for the rights of journalists and the rights to free speech must jealously be protected.

These are the pillars and the foundations on which the structure of democracy is built and we must do well to protect them,” he said.

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