Rural areas have over the years been major actors in sustainable development especially in the agricultural sector.The Commonwealth Youth Council appreciates the importance of literacy as the founding building blocks to access to education, access to opportunities and youth development and empowerment. In Nigeria, like many countries, rural areas are the bread basket of the urban areas and at the same very little is being done to invest in rural youth. The poverty experienced in some of our rural areas has forced large quotas of its population mostly the young people to migrate to urban areas in search of better lives and quality jobs. This has therefore weakened the capacity of rural areas to be key actors in development as a result of a sparse population. Nevertheless, rural areas can still be beacons of hopes to countries and spear head great inventions because of their unused potentials and we note and appreciate the efforts of International Fund for Agricultureal Development (IFAD).
The Commonwealth Youth Council, the largest youth-led organisation that represents over 1.2 billion youth in the world has prioritised the inclusion and engagement of rural youth. Whilst efforts are being placed to increase access to internet for rural, the CYC is cognizant that despite having internet and a computer, literacy remains a challenge and barrier. For this reason it has decided to support the increase in literacy in the countries it is focused on for this initiative. It will be supporting local NGOs namely Project Hope Alive and the African Union Youth clubs to increase literacy in rural Nigeria through a Commonwealth drive for books and learning materials to donate to the rural youth of Nigeria.
Importantly we are in the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and celebrating 50 years of International Literacy Day. In this context the vision of literacy is aligned with lifelong learning opportunities with special focus on youth and adults. Literacy is a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The target is that by 2030 all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG Target 4.6).
So we urge you do your part: