Sunday Dare, Holds Tripartite Meeting With Algerian, Egyptian Counterparts

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Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare on Tuesday  in Abuja held a Tripartite meeting with his counterparts from Algeria and Egypt on how to foster  mutual benefits among their countries.

The meeting formed part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of the Association of National Olympic Committees in Africa (ANOCA) taking place in Abuja..

Speaking during the meeting, Dare said, “When I visited Egypt some three months ago, we had a joint meeting where  we reviewed youth and sports development programmes of our countries and explored common areas  we can leverage on . We have spent the past few weeks  trying  to see which  areas can be best explored.  We agreed that  he would either  come to Abuja or I would visit  Cairo.Gladly, he has come to Abuja and we want to warmly welcome him.

“It is also so important to welcome the Minister of Youth and Sports Development from Algeria who was the Chairman of the Anti Corruption  War in Algeria, the equivalent of our  EFCC chairman before he became the Minister.

“The population of Youth in Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt is growing in leaps and bounds. These youth need to be engaged either by giving them employment, or by keeping them busy through sports and competitions, providing them finance to start their own businesses or by simply ensuring that we give them the digital skills that they need. So, for youth development there are four critical areas; Digital Skills and Digital Literacy for the digital economy for the 24th century. How do we operate this aspect because we have that challenge and I am sure we will know whether it’s the same challenge.

“The youths are restless, if they are not engaged in productive activities, they go on riot, go into drug abuse and  other vices. We see sports as a tool for unity and  tool to keep the youth busy. We believe that when a youth goes to practice wrestling in the morning,  does same  in the evening all he wants to do is to  eat dinner and sleep. But when he sits in the morning, 14 hours everyday doing nothing, he can be recruited for protest or recruited for  any kind of vices. Sports can be used  as a tool to promote peace and unity

“Thirdly, there is the  need to empower our youth,  give them  the finance and the resources they need to become self-employed, to become entrepreneurs and wealth creators.

“Government can no longer employ  all the youth. Government jobs are not available but the youth have  problems with banks to access loans where  the interest rate in this country is about 21-24% . In  Nigeria, we were able to establish the youth investment fund at an interest rate of 5% single digit, the lowest and we think that would help to turn our youths to entrepreneurs. I think these are the key major areas. I can provide another example when it comes to sports. It is important that we have inter-country tournament and championship beyond what we do in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.  We can come together and organise a Volleyball Tournament,  or an Athletics Championship. It’s  miniature skills but it’s impactful.   In athletics, some points could be  gained and  ranking improved. We can even organize football matches; we just did a six  -Nation football  tournament which the FIFA  and  CAF presidents came. It had six top women football countries  in Africa  participate and it was an exciting time where  they  also got points for participating.

“Also, we can look at youth exchange, our youths love to travel, sadly some of them travel illegally. We can have them  make this travel legally and be  more impactful. We will design a youth exchange programme between our countries. From Egypt  and Algeria we may have  50 youths selected by Egyptian Ministry or the Algerian Ministry  have a programme in  Nigeria which they will fit into, whether it is  a Sports event,  digital skill or entrepreneurship skills program. We can even start with 10 youth  for a  month exchange program. That was the practice in the past but it stopped. But  youths  in Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria want the same thing. They want  jobs,  capital to start  businesses, they want to build a career, they want government to support them and  set them on the path of progress. I think these are the critical areas we can work on. We will mention the programs that we have, but the MOU will look at the four critical areas. We  start to look at what programme does Egypt, Algeria or Nigeria have in sports  that are alike and  design such programs as a module for the youth of our country.

In his response,  the  Algerian Youth and Sports Minister Abderezak Sebagag said, “I wish to thank the Minister of Youth and Sports Development from Nigeria and Egypt.

“Concerning the  developmental policy that we want to engage our youth in our respective countries, especially the aspect of improving their digital skills, we have a volunteer program in Algeria

The Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Ashraf Sobhi also affirmed, “We as a Ministry, we will work as one country  in an effort to develop  youth and sports in Africa. With the scheme from  the Honourable Youth and Sports Minister from Nigeria , we can seek  how to work  together.

“We should use  our roles and positions as Ministers of youth and sports to  promote our vision and development.  If we work together,  our   development and  plans can become reality”

“We look at the sports part of the youth activities, we look at sports as a leisure,  as  recreation, as  competition and  tournament. Actually we have to look at Sports as a product to shield the youth from vices in their society. In Egypt, we have a full strategy merging  youth and sports. Basically we use  sports development to   aid education  till  2052.

 

“We are developing our premises, which means we are developing our facilities and sports facilities because without  good facilities we can’t  actualize our plans  for the  future”, he concluded.


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