Accra, 29 November 2011 (UNDP) – Youth Forum concludes with strong recommendation urging Member States of the African Union to ratify, domesticate and implement the African Youth Charter. Thus far, the Charter has been signed by 39 African countries and ratified by 28. The forum emphasised the importance of youth and empowerment for their effective and meaningful participation in governance processes.
The two days forum brought together over 50 experts and practitioners drawn from 28 African countries, AU organs, UN Agencies, think tanks, research institutions/universities and Regional Economic Communities who engaged in a constructive dialogue on how to promote democracy in Africa through youth empowerment and participation taking due regard for constructive management of diversity.
The AGF-VIII Youth Forum on “Youth Empowerment, Elections and the Management of Diversity” closed today recognizing the centrality of youth issues in the development agenda and underlined for the need of African governments to recognize youth as part of solution for their countries sustainable development and involve young people in a meaningful way in all stages of policy-making. The forum noted that democracy, development and peace may not be realized fully if youth are marginalized as key actors in the continent.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ghana, Mrs. Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, of the National Youth Authority observed that “the future of Africa lies with the youth and recognizing this is what will shape Africa going forward”. She further pointed out that African governments need to seriously consider the issue of youth and ensure that they design, create and strengthen systems that will ensure the realization of youth development across the continent.
The closing ceremony was also addressed by Dr. Raymonde Agossou of African Union Commission, Mr. Said Adejumobi of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and Mr. Khabele Matlosa of UNDP.
The Youth Forum is forerunner to the Eighth African Governance Forum (AGF-VIII) on Democracy, Elections and Management of Diversity, which takes place in 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.