Young people and senior Rwandan officials have kicked-off the countdown to the 12th Commonwealth Youth Forum.
Taking place in Kigali next June the Youth Forum will bring together 1,000 youth leaders from 53 member countries to brainstorm policy solutions to global challenges such as unemployment, gender inequality, crime and lack of quality education.
Proposed solutions will be presented to leaders at the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Speaking at the launch, Rwanda’s Minister of Youth, Rose Mbabazi, said: “The Youth Forum will be a key in giving young people a platform to engage with leaders.”
The forum will focus on capturing the aspirations of young people and ensuring they play a key role in shaping the future of an inclusive Commonwealth.
Uganda’s Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi said: “Young people should knock, knock and knock, the opportunities will be availed.
“Every young person should endeavour to walk away with at least one of the available 10,000 opportunities in Rwanda.”
Commonwealth’s social policy head, Layne Robinson, said: “We are pleased the heads’ meeting will focus on youth development as one of the five sub-themes for their meeting. The Youth Forum will provide youth-led solutions and concrete proposals on the critical issues of climate change, trade, and governance. With 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, this youth forum will explore ideas to accelerate implementation.”
The forum is one of four stakeholder meetings which have taken place in the margins of CHOGM since 1998. It is being convened by the Government of Rwanda, the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Youth Council.