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Youth take seat ahead of the AU Extraordinary Summit

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
South Africa Youth take seat ahead of the AU Extraordinary Summit
MAY 24, 2022 LISTEN

The African Union Department of Health, Humanitarian and Social Affairs and The Office of the African Union Youth Envoy, in collaboration with partners, hosted an AU humanitarian youth forum.

In here, the youth are also pledging conference ahead of the scheduled African Union Extraordinary Summit to be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from the 25th to the 28th of May 2022.

Chido Mpemba, the African Union Chairperson’s Youth Envoy commented: “It is my sincere hope as the Youth Envoy, that at the end of this summit, we have deliberated a youth-centric humanitarian architecture, a protocol on the free movement of persons and come up with a definitive, sustainable political resolution. This resolution statement will incorporate our ideas and solutions and become a plan of action to integrate the youths in the overall summit outcomes.”

Organisers explain that the key objective of this forum aligns with Aspiration 6 of the African Union Agenda 2063 and article 11 of the African Youth Charter, by providing young people with the opportunity to have their voices heard by key decision makers on key issues that are to be deliberated at the summit.

Young people from all over Africa came to discuss the road that is to be taken towards inclusivity, integration and the advancement of Africa as a whole.

“To achieve the Agenda 2063 and the Africa we want; we must collectively seek solutions that will drive concrete political action from all duty bearers,” said The Youth Envoy.

On the sidelines of the event in Nairobi, the Youth Envoy held a consultation with the young refugee’s policy group as part of her 60 days listening tour campaign to gain insights that will further contribute to the development of youth-led, meaningful programs and plans of the African Union towards achieving Agenda 2063.

Amb. King Adekunle, who is the Chair of the PRC Sub-Committee on Refugees and IDPs had the following to say: “On developing the sensitization strategy to the protocol on Free Movement of Persons, there is a need to look at the benefits and challenges of the free movement of people, especially as it relates to crime and security.”

And that Africa faces more humanitarian crises than any other continent with over 282 million people experiencing food related shortages while a further 32 million are displaced.

These crises have been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the logistical challenges it presented.

Dr. Margaret Agama-Anyetei, Ag Director of Health and Humanitarian Affairs Directorate, AUC said: “It is worrying that humanitarian crises in Africa are increasing, millions of people require humanitarian assistance. There is a need for collective action and response, greater integration and multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance focused on root causes and prevention.”

Also stated is that this event is a key milestone towards the realization of the Agenda 2063 and empowering young people to take part in the deliberation of key issues to that effect.

“We need member states to involve the youth to co-lead, co-develop and co-create tangible solutions to solve the humanitarian crises and threats,” The Youth Envoy said in closing.

The recommendations set forward in this forum will inform the heads of states’ meeting in the upcoming summit in Malabo.

Chido Mpemba is the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission. The Envoy is mandated to serve as a representative of and advocate for the voices and interests of African youth to the relevant African Union decision-making bodies.

The Youth Envoy’s office also engages African Youth on the continent and in the diaspora to draw them towards supporting and promoting positive social change, intergenerational dialogue and concrete action for Africa’s development as underscored in Agenda 2063.

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