By Carlena Knight
A significant step was taken by the government yesterday with the launch of the National Youth Policy.
Officials from the Department of Youth Affairs assembled at Government House for the historic occasion during which a copy of the document was handed over to Governor General Sir Rodney Williams.
Present at the ceremony was Acting Director of the Department of Youth Affairs Department Dr Jrucilla Samuel, who not only commended her staff and the many young people who helped to create the new policy, but also explained briefly what the document entails.
“The National Youth Policy is a strategic framework for youth development and empowerment in Antigua and Barbuda. It captures a range of issues and concerns affecting young people in nine broad pillars. These include human capital development, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, as well as mental health and psychosocial support. The policy also delves into spirituality,” Dr Samuel said.
Also in attendance was the Minister responsible or Youth Affairs, Dean Jonas, who remarked that the “completion of the document signals the beginning of great things to come for the nation’s youth”.
Meanwhile, Sir Rodney not only thanked the hardworking staff, but spoke on the importance of such a policy “as it gives direction”.
He noted however that the task is not yet done as the implementation phase of this policy will be the most pertinent aspect.
“Policy as I said gives direction and it is important for us to liaise with our youth and also get them involved in what we are doing, but it is one thing to have a policy but the other thing is to implement the policy. You still have quite a lot of work to do in terms of people knowing what the policy is and that we implement the policy,” Sir Rodney said.
The official launch of the policy will take place on September 7th.