ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Thank you Mr. Ambassador and good afternoon everyone,
Mr. Governor, Mr. Mayor, Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, distinguished guests, it is truly an honor to join all of you here, thank you for your hospitality.
Nearly ten years ago Tunisians took to the streets in protest of tyranny. It was a movement that spanned the country, the people expressed a bold vision of an inclusive, prosperous, and free Tunisia.
There has been a great deal of progress since then, and Tunisia's youth have truly been at the heart of it. Young people dissatisfied with the lack of voice in their own government were the energy that powered change. Young people demanding a say in their own future have truly reshaped the country.
Tunisia's constitution highlights these key contributions. It states that youth are a driving force in the building of the nation. Importantly, the constitution also commits the government to respond to the needs of youth. It commits the government to expand their participation in cultural, economic, social, and political life.
The U.S. Agency for International Development stands ready to support the people and the government of Tunisia, as they work to fulfill that promise.
The opening of this youth center reflects our commitment to helping provide youth with an opportunity to have their voice heard. An opportunity to speak, contribute, and more fully participate in society. The center will provide a platform for that engagement here in Kairouan. It is one of the many that USAID is helping to refurbish across Tunisia, and it is part of our larger, youth focused program.
That programming will also support the Ministry of Education's effort to modernize Tunisia's civic education curriculum, and it will work directly with young people to develop other initiatives that are designed by them and tailored to meet their specific needs.
Earlier today, I had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the youth in this area. I was proud of their action, energy, and their dreams for the future. I see some of them here. We look forward to working with them, and look forward to working with all of you to build a brighter future. USAID is proud to support Tunisia as it implements reforms that ensures the government is responsive to all parts of society.
But we will maintain a special focus on young people, because their energy brought democracy to this country and it will build democracy in this country. Young people are the future and that is why we are very optimistic. This community center is an investment in the area, and an investment in the area's and the country's future. I hope it serves as a place for these young people to gather, engage, learn, and inspire, for years to come.
The future is bright, thank you.