Leader of the independent group Hon Robert Galokale says Solomon Islands needs to engage youths “to utilize their creative talent, develop the country’s rich resources and help boost the country’s economy.”

Speaking in parliament the independent leader says youths are the key demographic for any country, one that should be harnessed to its full potential.

Hon Galokale said the commonwealth youth development index ranks Solomon Islands 76 out of 183 countries. The report provides an overview of the divide in opportunities for young people aged between 15 and 29.

He says 18 indicators are used that collectively measure the opportunities for youth development in five key domains – education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation.

He says such a ranking means that youth participation in the Solomon Islands in key sectors is limited and does not bode well for any government serious about development.

The MP for South Choiseul says the country must target youths in any initiative, particularly international efforts such as the sustainable development goals, or SDG.

“We must equip our youth with modern skills and knowledge to formulate and implement our solutions to the many problems and challenges facing our country.

“We must endeavour to focus efforts in improving youth development and participation in key areas such as education, health and wellbeing, employment opportunities and civic and political participations.”