By Staff Writer, Juba
South Sudan Youth Organizations’ Coalition, a loose collection of over 20 indigenous organizations operating in the country is appealing to the national Ministry of Youth and Sports to include local voices in the recent submitted Youth Enterprise Development Fund Bill.
Last week, the National Youth Union among other local partners handed over the Bill to the Ministry of Youth after they said the consultations on the Bill was undertaken.
However, the coalition is now claiming that the consultation executed was not complete and that the local voices were not factored into the Bill as some of the youth groups were not consulted.
Christine Kide, the National Coordinator of the alliance said the coalition was seeking to provide a platform for youth to meaningfully and constructively contribute to nation building as they speak for the disadvantage youth.
“While we acknowledge some great and positive achievements made by the Ministry of Youth and Sports especially the development of Youth Bill, and the validation of the Bill, we are concerned by the fact that the process of this Bill was only concentrated in Juba,” the statement released on Tuesday partly reads.
“The views and opinions of the youth from various states that are potential in realizing the purpose of this Youth Enterprise Development Fund have been left out,” it added.
Though the progress gives a glimpse of hope that the government was in a process to establish the Youth Bill, the group urged that the process should be authentic with interests and voices of the youths from all corners of South Sudan.
According to Kide, it would motivate the youth to directly contribute towards the economic development through the various programs and activities that they will engage in with support from this fund if involved.
She said that there should be further consultations before the Bill was tabled to Council of Ministers and Parliament so the youth at all levels can understand and own the process of the establishment.
Previously, the National Ministry of Gender has started the process of Women Enterprise Development fund and the Bill was yet to be tabled at the Council of Ministers, so that it submitted to the Parliament later though the parliamentarians have not been sworn in.
Ms. Kide also asked the government to speed up the MPs swearing in so that such cases were rectified in time by the Assembly.
The appeal was conducted in partnership with Christian Agency for Peace and Development through support of the Norwegian People’s Aid.
Attempts to reach the National Minister of Youth and Sports couldn’t bear fruits as he couldn’t pick up many repeated calls to comment on the story.
Chapter four of the South Sudan’s 2018 Revitalized peace accord stipulates for the establishment of the new institutions including Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
However, the Youth Organizations’ Coalition is now championing the provisions as it reaches out to the citizens in areas of peace building, advocacy, policy research, governance and democracy, health and education.