… As LASG Advocates Continued Adolescent Empowerment
The USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) has organised the Y2023 Strategic Workplan Development Workshop as part of its preparation to hand over projects to consortium partners and implementing States of Lagos and Kano.
Speaking at the event held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, the Chief of Party, YPE4AH Nigeria, Mrs. Boladale Akin-Kolapo, stated that the year 2023 Strategic Work Plan Development Workshop was designed to review project outputs and achievements, adding that it was also organised as a platform to present proposed plan of activities, align priorities appropriately with the specific donor-given mandate and suggest a strategic direction for implementing States.
Mrs. Akin-Kolapo stated further that every strategy proposed for the fiscal year 2023 is geared towards the sustainability of the project by consortium partners, including DAI, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), Yellow Brick Road (YBR) and Grassroots Soccer (GRS) as well as the implementing State Governments – Lagos and Kano.
Expressing her delight at the caliber of persons from government and partner organisations, she reiterated her appreciation for the continued and tremendous support which has been critical in achieving documented successes on the project.
According to her, the 2023 fiscal year will witness an increase in the number of family planning users and improved livelihood opportunities for adolescents through an enhanced private sector collaboration.
She also hinted that additional areas of focus will include COVID-19 education and vaccination, menstrual health and nutrition as well as the integration of mental health and substance abuse information and interventions among others.
The Senior Project Manager (YPE4AH) from the Global Office, Lara Brock, appreciated the government of participating States and partners, stressing the need to prioritise the project because of its importance to the youths in implementing States.
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Olugbenga Aina, advocated continued adolescent empowerment programmes, stressing that all hands must be on deck to ensure that resources are geared towards implementing policies and programmes for the empowerment of out-of-school youths.
He applauded the efforts of USAID on the Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) project, noting that the empowerment of youths is in tandem with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, who spoke through his Director of Family Health and Nutrition, Dr. Folasade Oludara, appreciated the YPE4AH team for its tenacity, saying “It is exciting to see the progress so far made on the USAID funded projects. So many barriers have been broken, particularly concerning the use of family planning, empowering young adults and supporting older generation”.
Emphasizing the need to have youth hubs in each of the 20 Local Government Areas of the State, Ogboye implored the organisation to extend the project to Ajegunle and Ajangbadi areas of Lagos, where there is a high population of adolescents.
In his contribution, the Country Director of DAI, Dr. Joe Abah, noted that YEDI, WFI, YBR, and GRS, with the support of the government of Lagos and Kano States, are ready to take ownership of the five-year USAID-funded projects targeted at adolescents on its completion.
He stressed that the consortium partners and implementing States – Lagos and Kano – are determined to prioritise youth empowerment towards creating a better future for the teeming population of adolescents in both States.