U.S Promotes Peace, Security Through Youth Empowerment

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In a significant demonstration of commitment to fostering peace and tolerance in Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) organised a youth, peace and security summit in Abuja. 

The Minister of Youth Development, Jamila Ibrahim took center stage as the keynote speaker, highlighting the pivotal role of youth in shaping a peaceful future. The summit gathered participants from youth groups and networks that have benefitted from support under the USAID Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) activity—a five-year, $15 million initiative aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence and collaboration in Nigeria.

The enduring partnership between the United States and Nigeria, particularly in addressing security challenges, leverages the diverse strengths of religious and traditional leaders, women, youth groups, government officials and civil society.

Through initiatives like USAID CIPP, the U.S. government actively collaborates with its Nigerian counterparts to identify and promote community-based solutions. This empowers various groups to enhance community responses to challenges, fostering resilience and contributing to a peaceful future. The summit served as a platform to showcase the learnings and best practices gleaned from USAID’s investments and achievements in promoting youth participation and leadership in peace processes across six northern states: Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Benue, Kogi and Plateau.

One of the summit’s focal points was engaging panel discussions and presentations that delved into strengthening peace-building efforts and establishing sustainable partnerships among youth-led organisations, government agencies and civil society groups. The event also aimed to amplify the voices of the youth by facilitating the sharing of experiences, successes and innovative approaches in addressing the challenges posed by insecurity.

Addressing the summit, United States Chargé d’affaires, David Greene underlined the significance of the participants’ commitment to the cause of peace in Nigeria. He acknowledged the youth as the “bedrock of society’s social and economic development, emphasising that the nation’s future rests on the shoulders of these young leaders. 

“By attending today’s conference, you’ve each signaled how important the cause of peace is for Nigeria…Youth are the bedrock of society’s social and economic development. The future of Nigeria depends on youth charting a path of peace, as you are the future leaders of this great nation.”

The summit stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts between the U.S. government and Nigerian stakeholders in nurturing an environment of peace and security. It provides a platform for constructive dialogue, knowledge-sharing and the development of strategies that harness the potential of the youth in fostering lasting peace. Through initiatives like USAID CIPP, both nations are actively contributing to the creation of a resilient and harmonious future for the people of Nigeria. 

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