Three-Year Special Youth Plan. Biometric Youth Card for Economic, Financial Benefits

With the card, the gov’t and its partners can effectively empower young people for their socio-economic insertion in the society. The card is part of the implementation of the Three-Year Special Youth Plan initiated by President Paul Biya to assist youths in the country economically and socially.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

The Three-Year “Special Youth” Plan prescribed by the Head of State, President Paul Biya in his speech on February 10, 2016 which specifically directs actions towards the implementation of government initiatives aimed at promoting the socio-economic integration of young people in the country, is being implemented to the fullest. The Minister of Youth and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou, on July 11, 2018 in Yaounde officially launched a Biometric Youth Card for Cameroon.

The card, which will be distributed to young Cameroonians registered at the National Youth Observatory, will offer the youths of all the ten regions of the country a wide range of social, economic and financial benefits and programmes devoted to contribute to their empowerment. These services are provided for by both public and civil society actors and development partners.

Sources say the Biometric Youth Card will enable young people to enjoy certain benefits such as health, social security, employment, transportation, and training services at reduced costs or even free of charge. Holders of the Youth Card will gradually benefit from facilities in various sectors as well as a wide range of opportunities negotiated with third party partners.

Some of the benefits according to the authorities of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education include: training in entrepreneurship and business management in National Youth Observatory in Multipurpose Youth Empowerment Centres and assistance with business formalities for young people registered with the National Youth Observatory (NYO), when settling them in businesses, with the support of the accredited Management Centre.

The Youth Card will also enable youths receive assistance in the development of business ideas and maturation of projects in business incubators as well as in the financing of social and economic integration, especially concerning paid jobs and self-employment for Youth Cardholders, through the National Youth Integration Fund (FONIJ) and other MINJEC programmes.

Another advantage to a Youth Card holder is preferential rates in university tuition with partner universities (for university students and any youth looking for training opportunities); access to holiday and pre-employment internships in partner companies and also discounts in thousands of businesses and stores that are part of the Youth Card ecosystem. Some of such discounts could also be in the domain of health, transport and mobile communication.

The biometric card for youth is a component of the Three-Year Special Youth Plan which was initiated by the Head of State in 2016. The Head of State announced the FCFA 102 billion package to span for three years in four sectors including Agriculture, digital economy, entrepreneurship and training. The overall objective of the three-year programme is to enhance civic education, social and economic integration of young people by mobilising them, providing civic and entrepreneurial training, employment or setting them up in business as production and service units. The programme targets 1.5 million youth with 500 trained, mobilised and oriented towards tasks corresponding to their needs every year.

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