Youth Voices Chapter Cameroon: Adding our voices to the development debate

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Youth Voices Chapter Cameroon. @ Erick Kaglan Youth Voices Chapter Cameroon. @ Erick Kaglan

We are very proud to embark in this new journey as Founding members of the first ever Youth Voices Chapter in the Africa West and Central Region of the World Bank. For us the adventure that has started with us engaging through the Youth Transforming Africa e-Platform, continues now at an even larger scale.

The World Bank is an institution that plays an important role in our countries, assisting them in achieving their development goals and at the same time providing support and technical assistance on specific issues and reaching out to all stakeholders – representatives of the people - in the country. 

And that is how we started our journey. 

The World Bank wanted to hear from us! FROM US? Young Cameroonians? We couldn’t believe it. Why would the World Bank, with all the expertise, want to hear what we think about issues like Gender-based violence or the impact of Covid and what suggestions we would have to address those issues? 
It was not a joke; the World Bank really wanted to hear from us. They told us that our voices and our views matter.  

Since then, this is what we have learnt and what we want young people to know. The development of our country is OUR responsibility too. We must play our role and contribute to achieving its development goals. Through the creation of the Youth Voices Chapter Cameroon, we want to actively deepen ties between Cameroonian youth and the World Bank Group and ensure that their voices are valued and heard in the Bank’s work through meaningful exchanges. 

We are also determined to work with youth organizations, universities, private sector, influencers, World Bank financed project implementation units, and others to transform the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic in terms of high unemployment rates to opportunities that support the employability and professional integration of young Cameroonians throughout the country.

Especially in the post-COVID economy, what is the role young people can play? We need to be part of the game and weigh in wherever possible on the discussions that are held about our future, our country, our planet. 

We really hope that the creation of the Cameroon Youth Voices chapter will encourage other young Cameroonians to speak up on development related issues and that other countries will follow and create chapters, building a network of young African leaders and citizens willing to play the game. 

We would like to thank Ousmane Diagana, Vice President for Western and Central Africa for the opportunity that was given to us, Young Africans, to feel valued and respected for our views and for his words when announcing the winners of the 2021 Blog4Dev edition “…They are the torchbearers to Africa’s development journey and serve as important voices in their respective countries. We are looking forward to seeing and hearing about their incredible contributions to the advancement of the continent in the months and years to come”.

Well, here we are, and we want others to join. Are you ready? 


Eliane Mbende

Youth Voice Chapter Lead

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