President Ali still hopes to engage youth of opposition parties

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President Irfaan Ali has indicated that he still intends to engage youth members of opposition political parties – an announcement he made in his New Year’s address to the nation.

The President believes such a meeting is necessary as he inches closer to the full operationalisation of the Youth Advisory Council.

Speaking at the sidelines of an event at the weekend, Dr. Ali said he had hoped to have the meeting by now in addition to having the council fully functional but overseas engagements had stalled that.

But he now anticipates that the council will be fully functional in April.

When asked whether the main opposition – the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) – has indicated a willingness to meet, Dr. Ali said “I will find a way to meet with the youth arm… you will see that happening.”

The President is expected to meet with the youth arm of the various political parties in an effort to have their members participate in the council.

President Ali had said that the council will reflect Guyana’s “rich religious and ethnic diversity.”

Work began in 2020 by Dr. Ali soon after he was elected President to establish the Youth Advisory Council.

Some $60 million has been allocated in the 2022 national budget to ensure this happens. In 2020, some $25 million was allocated while an additional $60M was budgeted in the 2021 National Budget.

In March of 2021, a secretariat was established within the Office of the President with $60 million to help fund the recruitment of a Youth Empowerment Coordinator and representatives from each of the 10 administrative regions.

A Technical Coordinating Committee has completed the terms of reference for the Council.

The Youth Advisory Council is a manifesto promise of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) aimed at allowing young people the opportunity to help shape their future.

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