High-level Event on Youth Development (14 October 2015)

Theme: "The African Continental Framework on Youth Development: Mainstream into Agenda 2063"

  • The Framework to be launched in early 2016 would help Member States take stronger measures for inclusive growth and the creation of decent and sustainable jobs in Africa.

  • From left to right: Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, H.E. Mr. Téte António, and H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  • The rich interaction that followed included remarks by representatives of various institutions and bodies, including the ECA, the AfDB, UNDP, the ILO, Africa’s RECs, as well as representatives of youth organizations and the private sector. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  • Participants welcomed and expressed support for the urgent action and inclusion of youth in the process leading to the establishment of the African Continental Framework on Youth Development. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

An Africa Week High-level event re-iterates the importance of an African Continental Framework on Youth Development!

A high point in Africa Week was the high-level event on the theme "African Continental Framework on Youth Development: Mainstream into Agenda 2063," moderated by H.E. Mr. Téte António, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, following welcome remarks by  Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa.

H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and Interim Chief Executive Officer, African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat, highlighted both the dividends and challenges  which  Africa’s youthful population present. He called for more investments in civil education and healthcare facilities within African countries, to equip the youth to be more productive and contribute economically to the development of their respective countries.

Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth highlighted the far-reaching nature of the African Youth Charter and its related instruments. He also called for greater efforts to be made toward translating them into meaningful action in the lives of youth on the continent.

The rich interaction that followed included remarks by representatives of various institutions and bodies, including the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International labour Organization (ILO), Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as representatives of youth organizations and the private sector in which they, among other things, described efforts in the area of youth empowerment and development.

Some of the key points that were stressed during the discussions included the need to expand opportunities for youth in education, skills training, access to concessional entrepreneurship financing and governance leadership programmes and mentorship programmes.

Several speakers called for the free movement of people and goods across borders, which would in particular facilitate greater access for youth to economic or trade opportunities in other countries within Africa.

Participants welcomed and expressed support for the urgent action and inclusion of youth in the process leading to the establishment of the African Continental Framework on Youth Development. The Framework to be launched in early 2016 would help Member States take stronger measures for inclusive growth and the creation of decent and sustainable jobs in Africa.

Participants therefore underscored the important role to be played by youth, in the conceptualization and implementation of the Framework, as well as their role in the implementation of Africa’s transformative Agenda 2063 and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Background

The event debated pathways to an Africa that is pro-youth, that provides abundant opportunities, and aims to ensure that its youth feel that they have a stake in an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent. The outcome of the debate set the stage for the development of an African Continental Framework on Youth Development.

The high-level event was moderated by H.E. Mr. Téte António, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations.

About African Youth

Young Africans are the key to an African renaissance and will remain players in, and advocates of, social transformation and development in many spheres. The enormous benefits young people can contribute are realized when investment is made in young people’s education, employment, health care, empowerment and effective civil participation.

The forum debate firstly seeks to promote new and deeper knowledge of the potential of African young people and the broad conditions that have an influence on this potential. Secondly it invites to explore ways and means to develop a continental framework on youth development, in partnership with the youth, and all actors of national economic and social ecosystem of African member states. It intends to emulate the creation of knowledge, invites to benchmark against best practices, identifies scenarios to operationalize national and sub-regional actionable plans, poses questions that policymakers should take into consideration when working on issues that affect young people, and calls for mainstreaming youth agenda into African continental frameworks that are being operationalized by the NEPAD Agency. It calls for a reflection on how best to turn what could be a missed demographic opportunity into a demographic dividend, pathway to an Africa that is pro-youth, that provides abundant opportunities, and aims to ensure that its youth feel that they have a stake in an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent.

Objective of the Meeting

The main objective of the African Continental Framework on Youth Development is to assist African Member States to define national employment policy scheme with operational action plans, in line with the objectives of inclusive growth - in a creative dynamic of decent and sustainable jobs - taking into account the African Youth Charter, national and sub-regional development plans, Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. It constituted an accelerator of Agenda 2063 implementation under the leadership of the chair of the African Union Commission, and as such, needed the support of the African Union Foundation in its capacity as representative of the private sector.