‘More co-operation projects in sports field to see light soon’
HE youth ministry recently organised the first Cairo Conference for South Sudanese Youth in the context of the ‘Nile Valley Unity — Future Visions’ project in its third version and under the slogan ‘For South Sudan’. The project was launched in 2016 by the African Youth Bureau and the University Administration of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The event took place from April 3 to April 8. In an interview with Egyptian Mail (the weekly edition of The
Egyptian Gazette), South Sudan’s Youth Minister Dr Albino Bol said that such conferences are a golden
chance to exchange views and experience besides laying foundations for constructive dialogue.
“Egypt has a leading and unique experience in youth empowerment. It is a model for South Sudan. Egyptian young people have managed to make political and developmental change,” Bol said.
“So, South Sudan really needs to benefit from the Egyptian experience to be able to overcome the tribal conflicts.
Egypt is an outstanding example to follow,” Bol added.
Bol referred to the historic visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to Juba, stressing the importance of building on and benefiting from the growing momentum in bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Youth is the future. Youth represents a great demographic proportion in both countries. In South Sudan, our philosophy and strategy is to enhance communication between generations. We have around eight young people in the government. We do not want a drastic reshuffle. We, as youth, want to benefit from the experience of older generations,” Bol said.
The first Cairo Conference for South Sudanese Youth is considered one of the mechanisms for implementing the ‘Continental Framework for African Youth, Peace and Security’ recently launched by the African Union Commission. It also seeks to encourage and support youth participation in peace and security at regional and continental levels, guided by Article 17 of the African Youth Charter and UN Security Council Resolution 2250 of 2015.
Bol expressed his admiration of the Egyptian National Training Academy (NTA) which reflects the vision of Egypt’s political leadership to empower youth and build their capacities.
“The NTA is a clear evidence that Egypt is preparing youth who will take leading positions in near future. Young people who are being trained now in the NTA are tomorrow’s leaders,” the minister said.
Egypt was one of the first Arab countries that helped in the human development in South Sudan, and since Sudan was one country, Egypt used to allocate a certain percentage in university education for our youth, he added.
The minister also revealed that there are tens of thousands of young South Sudanese who are receiving their education in Egyptian universities and institutes, thanking President Sisi for his efforts.
Regarding joint co-operation in the upcoming period, Bol referred to the signing of a cooperation protocol between youth ministries of both countries within the framework of the conference as part of the bilateral
ties binding both countries to start implementing joint programmes and projects in the upcoming period.
The protocol stipulates the organisation an annual activity under the name ‘Egypt-South Sudan Friendship
Week’ to be held every year alternatively between the two countries and their cities. As for training programmes, the protocol mentions workshops to help youth start small projects, besides webinars on how
to use modern technologies to create job opportunities. The protocol also includes exchange visits and boosting cultural ties between both countries.
“Such protocols are to be reviewed by ministries of foreign affairs of both countries before starting implementation process. South Sudan is also to invite the Egyptian Youth Minister Ashraf Sobhi to visit Juba as soon as possible before Tokyo Olympics,” the minister said.
Bol told this newspaper that the Egyptian government is to contribute in establishing an integrated youth centre in South Sudan.
“This centre is to be equipped with a basketball court and training halls. This project is to see light soon along
with other co-operation projects,” he said.
“In Juba, we are planning to set up an Olympic stadium to be able to host sports competitions besides establishing sports city like the Egyptian ones,” he said.
Bol also signed a co-operation protocol with Alexandria University to create a generation of sports leaders
from students and youth of the Republic of South Sudan to qualify them to lead the national sports movement, as well as developing the academic co-operation between the two parties in the field of sports sciences, in a way that contributes to achieving common goals and interests of the two countries.
Co-operation between South Sudan and Alexandria University will include providing the opportunity for a number of South Sudanese students to spend a training period in the sports sciences sector, dispatching faculty members to benefit from academic experiences from Alexandria University, besides participating in conferences held in both countries.
There will be training courses and workshops in the field of sports management. “It is very important to make the
best use of youth energy. Otherwise, such energy will be exploited in wrong way,” the minister said.