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UN, SMILE urge youths to embrace green economy

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

In commemoration of the International Youth Day 2023, United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, and members of Strategy for Mentoring Initiative & Leadership Empowerment (SMILE) have urged Nigerian youths to maximise opportunities in the green economy.

Speaking at a youth leadership summit, held at the weekend, in Lagos, Guterres said from innovative sustainable technologies and renewable energy to revolutions in transportation systems and industrial activity, young people must be equipped with skills and knowledge to shape a cleaner, greener and more climate resilient future.

With the theme, ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards A Sustainable World,’ he added: “Humanity depends on the boundless energy, ideas and contributions of youth everywhere.

“Today and every day, let’s support and stand with young people in shaping a just and sustainable world for people and the planet.”

In her speech, the President of SMILE, Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, noted that there is a need to invest in the youths.  

Founded twelve years ago, she noted that SMILLE is engaged in youth leadership development, youth mentoring and enterprise development, advocacy and community development, digital literacy, educational support and scholarship programmes.

She added: “We are launching SMILE Youths Lovers Tribe to create role models and help youths avoid pitfalls in achieving their dreams.”

Similarly, United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC), Matthias Schmale, stated that the world is undergoing a green transition, noting that an estimated 8.4 million green jobs will be created for young people by 2030.

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