By Mansour Nouredin, http://www.shaebia.org
Nakfa, Eritrea (Friday December 30, 2011): The National Youth Conference, which has been in progress in the town of Nakfa will conclude today Friday 30th of December 2011 by issuing the Nakfa Youth Declaration and Action Plan. The conference was opened on Sunday 25th of December 2011.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, President Isaias Afwerki said that the conference was conceived to provide a forum for intensive dialogue that would prepare the ground for a transitional phase.
“This conference and similar ones are expected to anchor themselves on our national values and the overarching interests of our people; take as their departure an accurate assessment of present and future opportunities and challenges; define the mission of the youth who in the history of our national liberation struggle -as in that of other peoples- played the decisive role both in terms of sheer numbers as well as the quality of their participation; develop plans for the upcoming struggle which will be waged on all fronts; and finally, delineate the outlines of a new chapter with stronger organization,” the President pointed out.
In his speech, the Head of Political Affairs at the PFDJ, Mr. Yemane Gebreab, said “the conference is expected to bring the participants to a common understanding on various issues like maintaining the sovereignty of the country, creating a stable and powerful economy, enhancing youth’s participation in various arenas and creating regional and international cooperation.”
The five-days long conference ,which was presided by senior PFDJ officials, featured various research papers that focused on the importance of philosophy, culture, identity on building optimal political system and democracy in Eritrea; Eritrea’s economy, its possibilities, policies and development strategies; global changes and Eritrea’s foreign relations; the challenges of youth in developing countries, among others. In addition, the participants held extensive group discussions and presented their deliberations to the conference.
Also during the conference, youth representatives from home and the Diaspora shared their experiences and discussed on how to tackle their challenges.
In line with the conference, a tree planting campaign in honor of martyrs and a visit to the trenches of Nakfa were also conducted. Accordingly, on Thursday 29 December, 2011participants planted tree seedlings at the new Nakfa Martyrs’ Cemetery, which was built for Martyrs’ Day this year.
Zebib Ghebrekidan, a participant and YPFDJ member from New York, USA, said, “The conference, which is hosted in Nakfa, the capital city of our struggle, shoulders a tremendous weight upon us as it inspires the participants to reiterate their readiness to safeguard the Eritrean sovereignty and strive in its economic emancipation.” Zebib, who graduated in International Business, is currently doing her internship in the Eritrean Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Eyob Mekonen, a member of the Communication Staff at the Ministry of Defense, on his part said that being born in Sahel, the place had a special place in his heart and that attending the conference also meant ‘coming home again’ for him.
“The conference, which is addressing the youth challenges and their commitment to the well being of their homeland, will be a milestone in the youths’ endeavors to fully participate in various areas and above all take part in the political process of their nation” he further said.
The National Youth Conference, which was attended by 600 youths from inside the country, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Australia, United States of America and Canada, was held under the theme “Empowering the Youth to Build a Strong Eritrea in a Changing World.”