By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Executive Director, Centre for Learning and Educational. Development Advocacy Africa (CLEDA AFRICA) Mr. Daniels Akpan has stressed the need for literacy as the core of the sustainable development goals ( SDGs) this is because, education holds the key to all other Goals.
He made the call at the third year anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations held at Barewa College Zaria Assembly hall.
Mr. Akpan said, the 17 goals of the SDGs are to foster inclusive development at communities, national and global levels and applaud the SGDs, CDS Group of NYSC for organising the reading summit for adolescents and young people in Kaduna State.
“Young people can no longer be neglected. In Africa, statistics has shown that one in every three person is between the ages of 10 and 24 years while one out of every two is under the age of 35 years”.
“In Nigeria, 65% of the entire estimated 200 million population of the country are under the age of 35 years. Kaduna State alone is estimated to have 83% of the entire over 8million of her population being under the age of 35 years”.
“All these statistics confirms the relevance of young people, not just as stakeholders in community and national development, but as key stakeholders”.
According to him, young people across Nigeria and Africa were not a problem to be solved, they are energetic, creative, active and willing to lead change If given proper opportunity, for training, and education.
He said, for decades, as young people we have waited to be given opportunities, our patience is exhausted. Now we are ready to take the opportunities.
The Director also said young people deserve a fair playing ground to enable them contribute their quota to the attainment of the SDGs.
“We deserve spaces at the round table of community, national, continental, and global decision making platforms, not just as observers but as key stakeholders and decision makers”.
Mr. Akpan noted that,beyond just being invited, young people deserve a chance to be part of the organization and planning but to create an even playing ground for the youths.
However, as young people, we are not ignorant of our own challenges that has mitigated our involvement at the round table of global decisions.
“We are not ignorant of our own limitations in terms of experience, exposures and training”.
The CLEDA Africa director said, they have formed networks, created platforms for cross border best practices and exchange of ideas, we have even formed reading clubs to equip ourselves with relevant histories and current happenings from all fields, we are frequently holding and attending summits and conferences and make recommendations for community, national and continental development… all these is to prove to the world that Young people are ready to lead.
While calling on all young leaders in training to take up the challenge of being a reader,a reader today, a leader tomorrow.
He said the earlier we begin to read, the better for us as a young leaders because you can not give what you do not have.