Youth Leaders across the continent have met to discuss and propose workable solutions to attain the African Union (AU) 2063 Agenda at the 8th African Youth and Governance Conference in Johannesburg. The Conference which was held in South Africa in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and supported by the UNFPA, was to critically assess AU’s Agenda 2063 under the theme “Investing in Africa’s human capital for peace and development.”
The resolution document proposed by delegates included calling on African governments to offer a second window of opportunity to those that have left school to return through integrated adult education and distance tertiary education initiatives; that strict measures be put in place for the protection of agricultural land and increase access to agriland amongst the youth and encouraging member states of the African Union to intensify partnership with the private sector in providing incubators to prepare African youth for the job market, and particularly assist young entrepreneurs in establishing their businesses at regional, national and sub-national levels.
Seth Oteng, Founder of Youth Bridge Foundation the organizers of the Conference said, “The 8th AYGC, Johannesburg 2016 was to deepen youth engagement and the blended approach of having Committee level research and discussions by youth delegates, and expert sessions to enhance the quality of outcomes of such gatherings”. He also reiterated the importance to raise the awareness and interest of young people in the implementation of the continental Agenda. He recapped that the AU Agenda 2063 must be anchored on the youth for these aspirations for to be achieved.
Youth delegates at the 8th AYGC, Johannesburg 2016 were placed in one of the ten Standing Committees based on the areas of expertise and preference, and each Committee was tasked with the responsibility of finding realistic and practical solutions to the specific issues on the continent. These proposed solutions came in the form of Committee Resolutions presented to all delegates at the General Assembly debate session, which was a platform for delegates to propose and defend their draft resolutions, even as delegates from other committees assessed and critiqued.
Commending organizers of the conference, Princess Sekyere, a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow and Chairperson of the Committee on Gender, Human Rights and Social Inclusion said “there was the need for such regular engagements between the youth and experts to deliberate on solutions to Africa’s issues. On gender, she encouraged Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to lobby policy makers on the need to implement policies on gender quotas to ensure gender equality and recommended female farmers’ participation in decision making at the local level.
With UNFPA technical and logistical support and the endorsement of Youth Desk of African Union Commission, the 8th African Youth & Governance Conference, 2016 brought together over 130 young African leaders and 12 expert coaches.
The AYGC community welcomed the Head of AU Member States declaration of the year 2017 as the year for the youth; investing in the youth to tap Africa’s Demographic Dividend.
For the full resolution document visit aygconference.net