Trinidad & Tobago: Finding a voice

TT country story

A youth arm was created in September 2012 and helps young Trinbagonians have a clear appreciation of transparency and accountability in the utilization of the country’s natural resources.

“I like the feeling of having a voice” stated Frances-Ann Craig-Ali. Representing a wider civil society group, Frances-Ann like many of her peers, is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago EITI (TTEITI) Youth Arm. The group was created in September 2012 and helps young Trinbagonians have a clear appreciation of transparency and accountability in the utilization of the country’s natural resources. More importantly, it ensures that they are actively engaged in that process.

The Youth Arm trains young persons to become EITI ambassadors, inviting experts to lead sessions on the understanding the extractive sector, effective communication skills and using the data in EITI reports. It also informs the wider youth community through its network of youth organizations and through a range of activities involving secondary and university students.

Trinidad and Tobago’s 10th National Youth Parliament engaged forty-three students across the country, who play-acted as Members of Parliament, in a debate on implementation of the EITI in Trinidad and Tobago.  Using youth volunteers and support from the TTEITI multi-stakeholder group, the TTEITI Youth Arm created YouTube videos, participated in poetry slams, designed posters and mounted slogan competitions around the EITI.

The EITI youth movement has gone international. Angel Yalartai, a secondary school student involved in the Liberia EITI ‘extractives’ club, journeyed to Trinidad and Tobago in August 2013 to meet her EITI peers. There was significant peer learning about the two countries, their extractive industries and effective communications techniques for each.