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Anambra launches ‘Close the Gap Initiative’ to empower youths

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In a bid to drive the one youth two skills initiative of Governor ChukwumaSoludo-led administration to the grassroots, Anambra State Government, through the Ministry of Youth Development, has launched “Close the gap Initiative”.

Hundreds of youths from Anambra North Senatorial District participated in the sensitisation event at Onitsha to drive home the initiative.

Speaking at the event , the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Patrick Agha-Mba, who applauded the governor for his amazing agenda for Anambra youths, explained that the initiative is one of the governor’s efforts in solving youth restiveness and meeting his vision of raising 1000 youth millionaires annually.

While stressing that the project is community based where community stakeholders are deeply involved, Mr. Agha-Mba said that stepping down the project to the grassroots will close the gaps between government and the people.

“ The key first gap to be closed is the main gap itself which is the gap in government and people. Other gaps exist between the government and all

relevant stakeholders in the community, the relevant stakeholders and youths, theyouths and the strategic partners and so on. Therefore, there is need to adopt astrategic framework that will ensure that all stakeholders in the communities,agencies and programmes beneficiaries are brought on board to be on the samepage. It is important to work with the community stakeholders as the youths to beempowered are their children and they should know them better”. He said.

“The youths constitute over 65% of the population of the state, if we do not engagethem positively, they will be engaged negatively, hence a lot of work must be donein the most effective and sustainable manner.Over the years, most of the youth development policies and programmes in

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AnambraState had been far from achieving key objectives. This can be attributed toineffective linkages and communication system, as well as inefficient integration ofrelevant stakeholders in youth and community development affairs”. 

He further pointed out that they are still creating more stakeholder network to avoid leaving any youth behind in the scheme of things as the first batch of the project will soon be launched.

“We have already started changing thenarratives through Anambra 1 Youth 2 Skills Solution, which aims at restoringand amplifying the age long Igbaboi (apprenticeship) model of Ndigbo. The model had been a very successful business enterprise development system; our amplified model involves apprenticeship, entrepreneurship, business financing, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation. It is important to note that this project is also community based, hence the community stakeholders are expected to be involved in mobilisation, training, monitoring and mentoring of their children. It is expectedthat  over 1000 youths millionaires and 130,000 private sector jobs will be created annuallythrough this project in Anambra; that is the goal of Mr. Governor, Prof ChukwumaSoludo.”

He also said that Close the Gap Initiative (CGI) will create a platform that will bring all community stakeholders, relevant government agencies, Ministry of Youth Development Desk Officers, volunteers, technical committee members and development partners on the same page for the actualisation of the goal of 1 Youth 2 Skills Solution of Mr. Governor, Prof. Charles for a livable and prosperous Anambra State. 

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