A Three-Day Stakeholders workshop for demographic dividend has been opened in Akwa Ibom State with the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon calling on participants to synergize with the State Government to boost demographic dividend.

The workshop which was hosted at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport would last till Friday, 9th August, 2019 as participants and stakeholders will chat a positive and reliable ways in boosting and sustaining demographic dividend in Akwa Ibom State, particularly, in the areas of implementing policies and programmes.

The Three Day Stakeholders Consultations and Desk Reviews Workshop Towards the Development of Akwa Ibom Demographic Dividend Road Map was said to be organized by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Economic Developmen and Ibom Deep Seaport and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Commissioner said the workshop was hosted to produce a multi-sectoral and all-inclusive document that would contain appropriate policies, strategies and key investment activities that would maximize youth potential and put Akwa Ibom State on the path to reaping demographic dividend within the shortest possible time, and to also ensure the overall sustainable development of the State.

In his words, “sustainable development cannot be achieved without appropriate planning and investment in the population to ensure that all women, men, girls, and boys enjoy the dignity and human rights to expand their capabilities, secure reproductive health and rights, find decent work and contribute meaningfully to economic growth… development policies and investmens to secure the future of our State requires that the State Government knows the current and future trend in the population, age structure, fertility rate and its implications for demographic dividend in the State”.

He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for the various entrepreneurial programmes organized for youths in the State and said that Akwa Ibom State is blessed with youths who have enormous potentials that could transform the State if properly harnessed.

Welcoming Stakeholders at the workshop, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Effiong Ekpeyong urged them to make useful contributions that would aid in shaping and reviewing the demographic dividend for Akwa Ibom State.

Also speaking, a director in-charge of International Cooperation in the Ministry, Dr. Uduak Ekong said among other things, “strategic investment opportunities could boost demographic dividend, hence, the hosting of the workshop”.