The 4th Eri-Youth Festival was opened today in Sawa Educational and Military Training Center. The hosting of this important gathering in Sawa, the core of education and discipline in the country, coveys an important message. Sawa, once an inhabited vast plain, is now a city of the young and patriotic, with out whose contribution and commitment the country would not have been at its present stage. Today, Sawa is for the 4th time ready to reflect the role of youths both inside the country and abroad in building and safeguarding their country. Mr. Ogbai Berhe, Secretary of the Coordinating Committee of the Festival conducted an interview concerning the over all preparations and activities in the festival. Excerpts follow:
Let’s begin with the preparations undertaken for this 4th Festival?
All the administrative regions, Sawa authorities, institutions of higher education and other organizations including nationals from abroad have been finalizing their preparation so as to colorfully celebrate the event. Various programs focusing on educational, sports, cultural and other competitions have been made ready to be staged in Sawa.
Can you tell us about some of the programs that would be featured at the occasion?
During the course of the festival, the potential of the country’s youth and their participation in development endeavors would be featured in general. The occasion would also highlight the youth’s innovative and creative skills, in addition to which general knowledge contests, debating, seminars, cultural and traditional shows, traditional and modern sports games would be presented.
What is the primary objective of this festival?
This occasion would bring all nationals especially youths from all over the world together and thereby strengthen their unity. It would also provide an excellent platform for exchanging ideas, sharing experience as well as discussing about the future development of the country. Besides, the role of youths in the ongoing development drive towards achieving economic emancipation as well as improving the living standard of the people would be highlighted. The already achieved impressive accomplishments through the concerted efforts of the people and the Government especially the youth is vivid demonstration of their active participation. Thus, the event would further inspire youths to reinforce their participation in the nation building process.
What significance does this festival have in relation to the present stage of the country?
Well, the festival is being conducted at a time when the national resolute rebuff is being strengthened to foil external conspiracies while maintaining the march towards development. Therefore, it would be an event for Eritrean youths both from inside the country and abroad to renew their commitment to enhance contribution for gratifying outcomes.
How many people do you expect will participate throughout the Festival?
About 23,000 people are expected to take part in the 4th ERI-Youth Festival including over 2,000 youths from USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. A number of service rendering ventures are also taking part in the event to accommodate the participants.