Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is scheduled to discuss various national issues for third time with more than 10,000 youth across the country today and tomorrow at the Millennium Hall, according Ethiopian Reporter. The event is organized by the Ethiopian Youth Federation, a national umbrella for nine associations.
The youth are drawn from various schools, government, non-government institutions, the private sector as well as micro -and small-scale enterprises.
Teferi Beyene, president of the Ethiopian Youth Federation told The Reporter that the conference is organized to discuss youth-related issues with the government. “The discussion will mainly focus on economic, political and social issues. We need to work together with government structures in order to solve the problems encountered by the youth,” he said.
The president said that the youth are experiencing grim challenges in different spheres of life. He added that the participants will raise questions regarding their multifaceted problems and that these should be addressed by the government. "The overall idea of the discussion is to bolster the relationship between the government and the youth to address the challenges they face."
Tatek Kassa, president of the Addis Ababa Youth Association, told The Reporter that unemployment, lack of due participation in politics, good governance and development are the major issues to be raised during the course of the discussion.
“We want to engage in discussions with the premier and other government officials. It is a good trend to get a chance to be heard, because the youth can contribute valuable ideas of national importance. The youth have to get a chance to voice concerns and to forward proposals to the government. As a civil society organization, our association is striving to solve the youth's problems.”
He said unemployment is the major problem of the youth in Addis Ababa and that addictions were becoming a great concern. He added that quality of education was deteriorating alarmingly and underlined that more libraries, recreation centers and facilities needed be constructed. “We also ask the government to address execution problems in various institutions in order to solve problems affecting the youth.”
Tatek pointed out that the association is working in the interests of the youth from all walks of life regardless of ideological differences, adding the fundamental principle of the association is to organize the youth for common causes and try to find solutions by discussing their issues with pertinent government agencies.