MUSCAT: The National Youth Commission (NYC) has taken the lead in coordinating with government entities and the private sector to implement youth development programmes, according to Dr Rashid al Hajri, its deputy chairman.

Speaking to Muscat Daily at an event to mark the second Omani Youth Day on Tuesday, Dr Hajri said, “But the commission wants youths to be the ones carrying out the projects themselves.”

Omani Youth Day is celebrated on October 26 every year.

H H Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd al Said and Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Manthri, chairman of the State Council were joined by several students for the event which was held at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

There was also an accompanying exhibit featuring youth initiatives. Those aged between 19 and 39 make up 48 per cent of the population in Oman, officials said. “This event is to celebrate the youth of Oman as well as the achievements of all the government institutions who are supporting them in terms of education, finance and allowing them to participate in the government, empowering them by providing training either in terms of personal development or how you develop your business or how you communicate,” said Dr Hajri.

NYC was formed by a Royal Decree in 2011 and began operating in 2012.

The ‘tamkeen’ programme provides support to youth who come out with ideas. There is also the ‘istiktab’ programme which funds research focused on youth issues. “NYC has two [main] objectives: What we are supposed to offer to the youth, and at the same time, what the youth should look like,” said Dr Hajri. “So what do we expect from them, and what we can offer them.”

Dr Hajri said the commission is focusing on inculcating loyalty to the country among the youth and creating awareness of laws. It also works to develop skills and talents, especially financial independence, he added.

Dr Hajri said that the commission has performed well in its three-year existence especially in consideration of the limited financial and human resources. “However, the level of coordination between different entities and NYC must be improved. Many government entities have representation on NYC.

“We would like to see more involvement from the youth, the private sector and more involvement from organisations. We would like to see more coordination which will help a lot in terms of human resources and finance, and at the same time this will provide higher quality programmes for the youth.”