UNDP youth leadership and peacebuilding programme opens in Mogadishu, part of wider youth for peace initiative

Opening Session for third annual UNDP Somalia and UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) Youth Leadership Programme. From left to Right: Hon. Mohamed H. Idris, MP, Federal Parliament of Somalia; Dr. Mohamed A. Zubair, Director General, Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs; Mr. David Akopyan, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Somalia; Mr. Salad Addow Director, Danleey; and Hon. Hani M Adan, MP, Federal Parliament of Somalia © UNDP Somalia/Salah Dahir
Young Somali men and women attend third annual UNDP Somalia and UNDP Arab States Youth Leadership Programme © UNDP Somalia/Salah Dahir

Mogadishu, 26th October 2017. A week-long competitive UNDP Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) has started today in Mogadishu, which will see 30 young men and women learn how to take leadership roles to bring about social transformation, build peace, and spearhead innovative ideas in reducing barriers to employment and economic development in Somalia. Selected participants from the training in Mogadishu will go on to receive further in-depth training at a UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) leadership event in Cairo.

The programme is run by UNDP Somalia and UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), in partnership with the Danleey organisation and the Somali Federal Government. It is the third year the event has been run as part of an annual “youth4peace” initiative that aims to support young men and women across the Arab states region to come up with innovative approaches to address sustainable development challenges, in particular gender equality and women’s empowerment. The young people will receive support to transform their ideas into innovative, impactful and sustainable development solutions, whether these be social enterprises, nonprofit initiatives, or campaigns.

Speaking at the opening day of the programme, Dr. Mohamed A. Zubair, Director General of the Somali Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, said youth should benefit from the knowledge resources available to them to gain employment and then take the lead in the country's work to achieve stability.

“Well managed resources, intellectual capacity, creativity and new innovations are required to meaningfully address the existing barriers to youth employment” he said.

David Akopyan, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Somalia, highlighted that Somalia has progressed quite far in recent years, on a very challenging road to peace and development.

“The road is still with many bumps, and at the recent October 14th tragic attack, which devastated many families, we at UNDP also lost a dear colleague, and four more people we worked closely with were killed in the blast. But we need to heal and together move forward. UNDP’s next programme will work much closer with youth and for youth. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are there for you to work with to ensure that Somali society moves from exclusion to inclusion and to more participatory political processes and economic development,“ he said, adding, “You are the future leaders that now are going to lead Somalia in 2030.”

Salad Addow, Director of Danleey, said his organisation is working to make all Somali youth informed and actively engaged in the matters that affect them, to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and developed nation that creates opportunities for all.

“This training is a transformational step to peace and development as young people represent a major portion of the population. Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow,” he said.

The training programme will run from the 26th October to the 5th November in Mogadishu. Selected participants will then go on to the larger regional event in Cairo in December, where they will receive further training, networking opportunities, and meet potential investors for their ideas.


Faadumo Ahmed, UNDP Youth Employment Somalia

Salad Addow, Director of Danleey

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