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(STATEMENT) — For the first time in a long time this year, young people across all backgrounds were engaged in our Independence celebrations. Sports events have been a staple of course, but Youth Expose, which was arguably one of the best events on the calendar, provided an opportunity for young entrepreneurs, artists (both visual and performing), designers and many more to showcase their talent.
The event was a hugely successful one, and received rave reviews from the prime minister and all the government ministers and parliamentary representatives who were present. Many of the young people involved credited the event for providing a timely boost to their business ventures.
After such massive success, it is indeed sad to see that Youth Expose has been scratched off the calendar for the celebration of our 40th anniversary next year. The calendar is instead dominated by sports events, and youth parliament is thrown in there. What message are we sending to the young entrepreneurs and youth in the creative industries, who were looking forward to the event next year?
With the massive investment already being pumped into sports, are we saying that the only way that a young person can receive adequate opportunity is if they turn to sports? I hope that the Independence Committee sees the importance of the event, and the need to belatedly add it to the calendar of events for next year.
Young people have undoubtedly contributed to the growth of this nation over the past 40 years, so that it is only fitting that these contributions are recognized across the board through such a platform.