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Involving youths in sustainable development ensures a bright future: Ntiokam Divine

Mr. Divine (far right) on a visit to Biyem-Assi Bilingual Primary School

Mr. Ntiokam Divine, a prominent advocate of sustainable development has said the involvement of youths in such initiatives is a key ingredient in ensuring a bright future and peaceful world. He is the Executive Director of Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network Global (GCSAYN).

He told Spiked Online Media that as a demonstration of his commitment to leaving no one and no place behind in terms of sustainable development he is always involved with activities at a Cameroonian government-run bilingual education institution, Biyem-Assi Primary School located in the capital city Yaounde.

“Back in 2010, I went back to my former primary school, Biyem-Assi, where as a way of giving back to my community, I trained students at the school on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Mr. Divine said.

Mr. Divine training children on MDGs back in 2010

The Millennium Development Goals, according to the United Nations, were a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific development gains as part of a broad development vision and framework for the development activities of the UN, for national priority-setting, and for mobilization of stakeholders and resources towards common goals. The world body remains firmly committed to MDGs’ full and timely achievement.

“We further recognize the importance and utility of a set of sustainable development goals…..The goals should address and incorporate in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and their interlinkages. They should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015….The development of these goals should not divert focus or effort from the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We also underscore that sustainable development goals should be action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature, and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities, and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities,” the UN said.

Mr. Divine set up MDGs clubs at the school. Biyem-Assi Primary School has become one of GCSAYN’s centres of excellence sites for the Children and Youth in Agriculture (CYA) program. Last year, GCSAYN, in collaboration with the school, planted 300 fruits trees donated by Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Forestier (ANAFOR).

During a visit to the school in November 2021, Mr. Divine led a GCSAYN delegation to do outreach under the theme “children at the centre”. The visiting team promised to assist widows and orphans in the school.

The GCSAYN team reassured authorities of their commitment to continue helping the teachers in building their capacity in the fields of agriculture and to capacitate children on ways of achieving sustainable development.

The Global Digital Advocate equally educated Cornell University Students in the domestication and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development.

 

Mr. Divine with students at Cornell Institute training them on SDGs

 

Zile Singh contends that there are a number of challenges to achieving SDGs such as a lack of effective leadership, coordinated partnerships, investments, implementation, and indicators with effective data collection.

Mr. Divine (in blue suit) providing leadership on SDGs

 

He adds that leadership is essential for progress in relation to policy change, legislation, investment, implementation, advocacy, and popular representation and underscored the fact that SDGs demand an increasing interface with global governance for health among those institutions and processes that directly and indirectly impact on health in the context of globalized trade, security, migration, and environment.

 

 

 

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende