Nigeria to host Commonwealth Youth Council Secretariat

The Commonwealth Youth Ministerial Working Group has declared that Nigeria will host the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Secretariat.

Sarah Mateke, Uganda’s Minister of State for Gender, Labor and Social Development, announced this at the task force meeting on Thursday – one of the events marking the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Mateke said terms of reference will be defined soon to guide the secretariat.

Earlier, Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, had indicated the country’s interest in hosting the secretariat in response to a member’s inquiry on the need for an administrative infrastructure for young people. .

Dare said the CYC would easily connect with youth programs in the country, should its secretariat be established in Nigeria.

“With around 1.5 billion young people across the Commonwealth, it’s important that they have an administrative office where they can coordinate,” Dare said.

“Looking at the size of the youth population in Nigeria, which is around 150 million and also the youth programs, like the N-Power, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) etc, I think Nigeria will be a good place to host CYC.

“The council can connect to the programs we have in Nigeria, other countries can learn from them and also bring models from other countries.

“Nigeria has always been a hub for youth development, given the height of our youth, our innovative minds and more, it would be great to have the CYC secretariat in Nigeria.”

Everton Rattary, Vice President of Partnerships and Resources of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), had previously called on member countries to host the council’s secretariat, adding that it would help run the CYC’s projects.

“The organization’s mandate is carried out by its administration,” Rattary said.

“The execution of our projects will only be possible if we have the infrastructure in place and this will be the starting point for people to help us restore it.

“So literally if we don’t have a secretariat, it’s almost like we’re making plans, with no intention of executing.”

The CYC acts as a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led civil society and private sector bodies in the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth.

It aims to further advance the youth development agenda by integrating young people into Commonwealth development work at national, regional and pan-Commonwealth levels.

The council provides an enduring platform for unified engagement with policy makers and youth-led development initiatives.