Youth Day in Cameroon on February 11 is observed by children and youth from the country’s 10 regions. This commemoration emphasizes this new generation’s ability and commitment to contribute to the creation of a prosperous and stable tomorrow.
Youths have shown their strong resilience and potential despite four years of conflict in the English-speaking territories, sustained periods of civil unrest and displacement, violent extremism in the Far North Region, and a global pandemic with significant economic implications.
History of Youth Day Cameroon
Youth Day in Cameroon is marked by parades, cultural dances, singing, and sports events by youths. Cameroon’s Youth Day can be viewed as a national festival aimed at aligning young people with community building, national pride, and responsible citizenship beliefs.
The West Cameroon government created Youth Day to replace the country’s national day, which was observed on October 26 before reunification occurred. West Cameroon’s Prime Minister John Ngu Foncha suggested dedicating West Cameroon’s national day to its youths, on whom the future state hinged, less than a year after obtaining independence by embracing French Cameroon.
Although it is unclear whether this recommendation was contested in the assembly, it was implemented the following year. The inaugural “Youth and Sport” day was held in West Cameroon on October 26, 1962. The day was held in high regard by West Cameroonian politicians, local officials, state officials, and the general public when it first began.
The Foncha government announced its intention to commit the Plebiscite Day to the country’s youth by the end of 1963. This meant that the Youth Day would no longer be held on October 26 and would instead be held on February 11. By 1966, the Cameroonian federal government had recognized the West Cameroonian festival as a national holiday.
On this special day, we urge all youths, in all of their amazing diversity, to take meaningful steps to promote peace and contribute to the advancement of their communities, and learn the skills needed for life and success in the future economy.
Youth Day Cameroon timeline
On February 11, the British Cameroons in the south vote to join French Cameroon, while their northern counterparts decide to join Nigeria.
On October 26, the inaugural Youth and Sport Day takes place in West Cameroon.
Foncha’s government dedicates Plebiscite Day to the youths.
Cameroon’s federal government adopts Youth Day from West Cameroon and declares it a national holiday.
Youth Day Cameroon FAQs
When is World Youth Day?
Every year on August 12, International Youth Day is observed. The U.N. Focal Point on Youth, with input from youth organizations and members of the U.N. Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, chooses a topic for the day. It also hosts a virtual observance of the day.
How did Cameroon gain independence?
France acknowledged the right of the United Nations trust territories to claim independence on October 19, 1958. On March 13, 1959, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the U.N. Trusteeship Agreement it had with France regarding French Cameroon would cease on January 1, 1960, when French Cameroon gained independence.
Who was the first to colonize Cameroon?
In 1884, Cameroon was renamed Kamerun and became a German colony. As a result of League of Nations mandates, it was split between France and the United Kingdom after World War I.
How to Observe Youth Day Cameroon
Join a parade
Several parades are held in Cameroon to celebrate youths on Youth Day. Youths, children, and older adults alike can participate in these marches and support the movement.
Show support on social media
Unable to make the trip to Cameroon? No problem. Show your support for the holiday by posting on social media and contributing to participating pages.
Create awareness on youth-related issues
Taking action is one of the best ways to celebrate Youth Day. Research the issues facing youths in your locality and see how you can help.
5 Facts About Youths That Will Blow Your Mind
Suicide is the second-highest cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 years old.
The vaping epidemic
The U.S. Surgeon General has labeled vaping a national youth epidemic.
More than 1.1 billion people, almost as much as India's population, are under the age of 30.
The country with the worst percentage of unemployed youths is South Africa.
More than a third of homeless youth are under the age of 24.
Why Youth Day Cameroon is Important
We get to take action
Celebrating Youth Day gives us the opportunity to take meaningful actions to uphold peace. It’s not enough to dream and plan, we need to get our hands dirty if we're to make them a reality.
It encourages and empowers the youths
The importance of this day can’t be stressed enough. This celebration is aimed at providing encouragement and empowerment to help youths reach their potential.
Youths contribute to the economy
Youths play a vital role in the advancement of their communities. They are a significant part of the workforce and drive change and innovation in today’s society. They deserve to be celebrated.
Youth Day Cameroon dates