National Youth Conference kicks off today in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh

Egypt’s First National Youth Conference will kick off on Tuesday for three days in Sharm El-Sheikh, supervised by the presidency and attended by several political parties and groups.

Nearly 3,000 Egyptian youth from different backgrounds are expected to participate in an open forum to discuss the future of the country, according to the presidency.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will also attend in addition to public figures and officials who will be taking part in the dialogue.

El-Sisi has frequently urged youths to support him and said that the country had not been “able to provide real channels of communication with its youth.”

Political parties who declared their participation in the conference include the Free Egyptians Party, the Wafd Party, the Conference Party, the Conservative Party and the Tagammu Party, among others.

Egypt’s Social Democratic Party released a statement saying it will not participate in the conference, announcing its “strong reservations regarding what has been dubbed the ‘year of the youth,’ which witnessed the arrest of dozens of young people on charges of protesting and expressing their views.”

The Egyptian president has declared 2016 as the “year of Egyptian youth.”

Participating parties set agenda for discussions

Parties participating in the conference have set an agenda for what they would like to see discussed.

Free Egyptians Party member Mohamed Farid told Ahram Arabic news website that political participation, small business enterprises, unemployment and illegal migration are on his party’s top list of priorities for topics.

The party would like to see more support for the youth and for small enterprises as a way for development, Farid said.

“We hope that the conference will produce a document with a vision on youth tackling political, economic and social aspects,” said Farid, adding that this would mean the conference’s success.

Members of both the Wafd and the Tagammu parties said they would focus on youth participation in local elections.

Mohamed Amin of the Conservative party said his party will propose forming a High Council for Youth. They will also discuss amendments to the protest law, which they say had been previously presented to the presidency.

The conference will include more than 23 public discussion sessions involving political, social, economic, cultural, sports and entrepreneurship. It will also include at least eight workshops, according to organisers.

Source: Ahram Online