More youth in decision-making with politically-free Youth Advisory Council
As the world observed International Youth Day 2022 on Friday, a historic President’s youth advisory council was launched in Guyana with President Dr. Irfaan Ali promising that it will push youth involvement in the country’s decision-making processes.
The establishment of this council was long promised by the Guyanese Head of State and his political party – the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic.
For the President, it is not only a promise delivered to the people of the country but an indication of his government’s commitment to inclusive development and governance.
“We are trying to mainstream youth involvement in the development process and the advancement of our country,” President Ali said at the launch of the council at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown.
Surrounded by scores of young people, the Head of State emphasised that leaders must not tout the inclusion of youth without engaging in any meaningful efforts to actually do so.
And he was keen on noting that this body will not be a political one, but it will be expected to work closely with policy-makers at all levels of government.
“… this composition is not a political composition, it is a national composition.
“They’re here because I strongly believe that we need young people to be critically integrated into the policy-making aspect of the country,” the Head of State said.
Dr. Josh Kanhai, a young politician who has been associated with two of the smaller political parties in Guyana, is serving as the Chairman of the council.
He told the gathering that the council will work towards meaningfully representing the country’s youth, guaranteeing that the goals and ambitions of all young Guyanese are achieved.
The council will be expanded in the coming months when more young people across the country will be recruited. Importantly, more than 50 per cent of the existing council members are young women.
Other well-known individuals who are part of this council are cricketer and businessman Leon Johnson, dentist Ian Jagan, lawyer and former People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member Thandi McAllister, Lawyer and Treasurer of the Bar Association Keoma Griffith, young squash player Kirsten Gomes, Marine Scientist Maria Fraser, among others.