The first entrepreneurship platform organized by Senator Gregoire Mba Mba is meant to make youth more responsible through the creation of income-generating activities.
The T-shirts sported by youth participants at the two-day, first-ever Kribi General Youth Forum, which opened in Kribi, Ocean Division in the South Region yesterday, May 7, 2019, bore a message that said it all: "Let's take our destiny into our hands!" Placed under the distinguished patronage of the Head of State, Paul Biya, the event was opened by the President's representative, Oswald Baboke, the Minister, Deputy Director of the Civil Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic. The initiative by Senator Grégoire Mba Mba is meant to link up the growing number of local unemployed youth with training and job creation opportunities offered by local firms, industries and national poverty-reduction structures.
The stakes of the forum are especially high, given the high unemployment situation in the country. Citing President Biya, Baboke said "Responsible youth are the guarantee for future stability." He urged Kribi youth to be architects of peace and stability, and expressed hope that the Kribi General Youth Forum will serve as kicker for stakeholders to begin to discuss the real problems besetting youth. In an unprecedented gesture, Senator Mba Mba went down on his knees to apologize to local youth for the failure of the political elite. "We have spent our time fighting for positions instead of creating jobs," he admitted.
The Senator also accused local firm and industries of not doing enough to create jobs for the growing number of young people in the coastal city. "Youth no longer need promises, but concrete action," he noted. The Senator concluded his rousing speech by announcing that he will be funding income-generating ac tivities for 50,000 youth as his contribution to reducing unemployment, urging them to be more daring. Patrice Melom, the General Manager of Kribi Port Authority said about 1,200 jobs have already been created by his structure.
He urged youth to be patient as more jobs were coming. Officials of HEVECAM rubber plantation told Oswald Baboke that their new development policy that promotes private rubber farms will see the creation of 6,000 jobs. Meanwhile, HEVECAM is to finance the income-generating activities of 25 local youth selected by Senator Gregoire Mba Mba, it was also disclosed. On the opening day of the fo rum, some firms and organizations set up stands to sensitise youth on training and job creation opportunities.
They were the Kribi Port Authority, Kribi Conteneurs Terminal, the Ministry of Small and Mediumsize Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicraft, MINPMEESA, the Kribi Ports Multiple Operators, KPMO, HEVECAM, the Integrated Support Programme for Informal Sector Actors, PIAASI, etc. On the sidelines of the exhibitions were workshops on entrepreneurship, youth job-creation and professional training, politics and sovereignty. The two-day forum ends today, May 8, 2019 with resolutions from the workshops