Kampala, 09 December 2013-**In the context of its continuous support to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has today launched a leadership capacity building conference for the Somali youth. The three-day conference seeks to provide an interactive forum between AMISOM, the FGS and the Somali youth, and also establish and maintain effective communication between the youth and the government on policy awareness. The Somalia conflict which has lugged for over two decades left very little room for development opportunities for the youth. The involvement of the youth in positive activities including those creating income to the community was minimal during the conflict period because of insecurity, poor educational attendance and little information about conflict management. Since the inauguration of the current government, the security situation in Somalia has improved considerably. This calls for mechanisms to galvanize the peace attained especially through sensitizing the youth on issues of participation and exposing them to alternative ways of engagement especially on opportunities offered by the FGS policies in improving the lives of Somali citizens. The conference was officially opened by the Commissioner for Youth and Children of Uganda, Mr. Fred Onduri. In his opening remarks he urged the Somali government to enhance the participation of youth in the peace and reconstruction process. “It is a good opportunity for the youth of Somalia to get abreast of the issues of governance and participation. Your strength, your knowledge and determination can help in building your country,” he told the youth. The discussions during the deliberations will focus on the role of the youth in the implementation of the six Pillar Policy of Somalia namely Supremacy of the Law and Good Governance; Economic Recovery-Livelihood and Economic Infrastructure; Peace Building-Social Reconciliation through building bridges of trust; Service Delivery-Health, Education and Environment; International Relations-building collaborative relations and polishing the national image; and the Unity and Integrity of the country. At the end of the conference, it is expected that working relationship between AMISOM, the FGS, and the Somalia Youth will be enhanced and key recommendations will be identified to inform more appropriate strategies for the active participation of Somali youth in the peace process and reconstruction of the country. The conference is attended by youth from all regions and clans of Somalia, and many other stakeholders.
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