CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE THEME: MENTORING YOUTH (WOMEN AND MEN) TO BE CHAMPIONS OF GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

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AU-FLAGPursuant to the African Union Assembly Decision n°: Assembly/AU/Dec.277 (XVI) and EX.CL/Dec.539 (XVI) on the launching of African Women’s Decade (AWD) and the Fund for African Women, the AU is pleased to announce the call for the submission of project proposals under theme n°10 of the African Women Decade namely “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment” which content is as follows: “Energizing the African Women’s movement, and mentoring young women and men leaders and professionals, both in Africa and the Diaspora to be champions on Gender Equality and women’s empowerment”.

The implementation of the Decade themes is within the context of the integration of NEPAD into the African Union Structures and in line with Assembly Decision n° Assembly/AU/Dec.333 (XVI) to consolidate gains so far made and to achieve coherence. It also reaffirms African Women’s Decade to be the overall implementation framework for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) and the Fund for African Women’s Decade to be the vehicle for mobilizing resources in line with the Executive Council Decision EX.CL.Dec.539(XVI)(4) and calls for Development Partners support.

By this call, the Commission hereby invites members States and stakeholders to submit their project proposals on the Theme: “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment”. This Theme n°10 of the African Women’s Decade is seriously taken into consideration by the African Union Commission and is scheduled to be discussed at the 2017 AU Summit under the theme’ “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the Youth”.

Agenda 2063 has also given an important place to young women and men and according to its Aspiration 6, the Africa Union Commission aspires by 2063 to: “an Africa where development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African People, especially its women and youth…” This clearly shows the will and commitment of the African development actors to lay emphasis on Young women and men. This inclusive and people-centered approach can only be reached by empowering, mentoring and championing the young component of the African population. Agenda 2063 is Africa’s vision and roadmap for the fulfilment of Africa endogenous plan of transformation. Therefore, there is a need for African youth to be mentored accordingly.

The Fund will benefit young women and girls through grassroots initiatives, developed by:

  1. African Union member States;
  2. African Civil Society Organizations working on mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  3. Youth groups

Proposals will be funded for one year with a ceiling up to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).

1-Criteria for the selection of project under the “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment” Theme:

The projects should be based on the African Union Agenda 2063. The Agenda works for a Shared Strategic Framework for Inclusive change for a better Sustainable Development, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The project or programme should contribute to any of the following:

  1. Create environment where the African and Diaspora young women’s movement will find a platform to interact and bring paramount and valuable changes to the women condition in Africa;
  2. Sensitize and train youth about the drawbacks and consequences of exclusion, on the fact that no woman or man will be left behind or excluded, on the basis of gender;
  3. Demonstrate its commitment as People-centred and training youth about gender equality and Women’s empowerment.
  4. Engage and empower youth to be gender-sensitive in their approach for decision making, while targeting sustainable development;
  5. Boost African women’s incentives to create movements and initiatives aiming at fully empowering young women in all spheres, and promoting their social, political and economic rights, including the rights to own and inherit property, sign contracts, register and manage businesses, and accessing leadership positions;
  6. Organize the mentorship and championship activities for young rural women and men and create movements or cooperatives that will raise awareness on their rights; and help them have access to productive assets, including land, credit, inputs and financial services.

2- In addition to the above mentioned criteria, the selected projects should:

a) Set key mentoring and championing priorities at continental level, to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment according to Agenda 2063 vision which expects full gender parity, with women occupying at least 50% of elected public offices at all levels and half of managerial positions in the public and the private sector;

b) Promote the adoption of policies that ensure that the youth of Africa is socially, economically and politically empowered with full implementation of the African Youth Charter and subsequent Decade Plan of Action;

c) Work for the elimination of all forms of systemic inequalities, exploitation, marginalization and discrimination of young people and mainstream youth issues in all development agendas;

d) Lobby for the elimination of Youth unemployment in Africa, while guaranteeing their full access to education, training, skills and technology, to health services, jobs and economic opportunities, recreational and cultural activities as well as financial means and all necessary resources to allow them to realize their full potential;

e) Train, monitor and champion Young African women and men to be the path breakers of the African knowledge society and contribute significantly to innovation and entrepreneurship;

f) Guide Africa’s youth and strengthen their knowledge into creativity, energy and innovation for them to become the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation;

g) Be committed to sensitize and advocate to increase access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services and Rights (SRHR) for young people in Africa;

h) Capitalize on regional youth consultations for a better understanding and ownership of Agenda 2063; i) Promote Young People’s Rights, particularly young women’s rights Towards the Attainment of Agenda 2063’,

j) Create a platform for aggregating youth concerns such as migration, employment and mobility, inclusion, diversity management and popular participation;

k) Train Young people to be active actors in governance.

Mode of application

  1. Submission of a brief and schematic Concept Note in line with the application characteristics provided (attached). The Concept Note should be in summary form to facilitate technical evaluation and provisional approval or rejection by the Steering committee. It should not exceed one page;
  1. Submission of a more detailed, well formulated project proposal, in accordance with the format provided (attached), which meets key operational, technical and procedural requirements required for the final evaluation of the proposal.

The application should include the following information:

  1. A one page synthesis of the Concept Note (attached), as follows:
  • Basic data (project name, management details, duration, geographical location, context and rationale of the project);
  • Description of the project (purpose, goals and objectives, expected outcomes, activities, indicators, beneficiaries, entities and partners);
  • A brief presentation of the implementing agency: 1) governance structures, financial management, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability plans;
  • Names and contact details (telephone numbers, email, etc.) of signatories.
  1. Detailed project proposal: Refer to attached outline
  1. A page containing:
  • The detailed budget in dollars (US$) and equipment (available and required). Distribution: 50% for equipment, and 50% for training and general expenses. The Fund for African Women does not cover salaries.
  • Bank details of the organization;

All applications should include a letter of recommendation from national Coordination Committees or Ministries responsible for Gender and women’s Affairs. NGO’s and CSO’s, should provide a copy of the Letter of Information sent to your Ministry of women Affairs. All hard copies of applications should be sent through the respective Embassies of Member States in Ethiopia, with electronic copies submitted directly to the Commission, addressed to the Director- Women, Gender and Development Directorate, AU commission Fund for African Women, by April 15, 2017.

Kindly note that the commission will only accept proposals that adhere to the indicated theme.

This announcement will be posted on the AUC website http://www.africa-union.org

The detailed format in which concept notes should be submitted is available on the website in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

Member States and grassroots organizations with the requisite capacity, experience in networking with women’s groups, community cooperatives, the informal sector, and addressing gender inequality are encouraged to apply.

For further information or clarifications, please contact Mrs. Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, Director- Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD), Tel: +251 11 518 21 12 – email: Kaba-WheelerM@africa-union.org; Mr. Adoumtar Noubatour, Senior Programme Officer, Tel: +251 11 518 21 11- email: adoumtarn@africa-union.org ; Mrs Fiorella De Pede, email : FiorellaP@africa-union.org. Tel.: +251115182115.

CLICK HERE to get all necessary documents: African Union Website

 

Call for applications : Debate on youth and political decision-making in Africa

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Engaging young people in politics is critical to the safeguarding and strengthening of democracy worldwide. With an estimated 1.2 billion people aged 15–24 on the planet, justice and democratic legitimacy demand more than a token youth presence in parliament. People between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57 per cent of the world’s voting age population but only 26 per cent of the world’s MPs. In addition, the presence of young people in political positions can change attitudes, eroding stereotypes about readiness or fitness to lead, while also encouraging young people to see politics as an arena open to their participation.

Application guidelines

  • Youth applicants between the ages of 18-35 are welcome to participate.
  • Applicants should submit a 300-word abstract on the theme “Youth in political decision-making in Africa” by 27 February 2017.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March. Applicants located outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be interviewed via Skype.
  • The organizers will announce the teams on 20 March and preparations for the debate will be held on 21 March.
  • The final debate will be held on 31 March in Addis Ababa (location TBD).

 Debate procedure

After the preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March, each team, consisting of three individuals, will answer two essay questions based on a set of thematic questions or a case study; one supporting the topic and the other against. Each team will be assigned to a supervisor who will support the team on basic structure and formatting. The teams will debate one side of the argument based on their submitted essays and through the use of other sources of information. The floor will then open for a Q&A session for further discussion and clarification. After examining the essays and verbal arguments, independent evaluators will grade each team and announce the final winner.

Reward

  • The winning team will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa on 22-23 April 2017 (Accommodation and flights to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will be covered).
  • They will also have the opportunity to publish their essay in the upcoming AfSol (African Solutions) book series, IPSS website as well as other IPSS web platforms.
  • A certificate of participation on behalf of the IPSS Alumni Network will be given to all participants.

For questions and to submit abstracts, please contact alumni@ipss-addis.org

Click here to download more on the application process.

Source: IPSS Website

Apply: African Union Regional Youth Consultation

Deadline: Friday July 15th, 2016

downloadThe African Union Department for Political Affairs, under its African Governance Architecture secretariat, is organizing four regional youth consultation forums across the continent under the theme of “African Union’s Year of Human Rights with a specific focus on the Rights of Women.” These forums aim to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space for young people to offer input into the African Union’s 10 Year Human Rights Strategy.

Young women and men from North, West, Southern, Central and East Africa will come together to discuss various ways to contribute to the promotion of human rights on the continent. Each of the regional consultations will focus on four broad thematic areas, which will be discussed in groups. The themes include:

• Young Women’s Rights
• Governance, Peace, Security and Migration
• Inclusion, Diversity Management and Popular Participation
• Employment and Mobility

In order to be considered for participation the entire application form must be completed by Friday, July 15, 2016. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Click here to Apply

Source: AGA Platform Website

Dr. Zuma is Leaving and African Youth Hope for Zuma 2.0

Time is up for African Union Commission (AUC) Chair Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who  said she would not run again. Her term, which was entrusted to her by the African Union Heads of States in 2012, ends July 2016

We remember how tedious her election process was for Yayi Boni, former President of the Republic of Benin After so much back and forth, the AU Commission got its first ever chairwoman, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who replaced  Jean Ping.

In February 2013, I met H.E. Dr. Zuma when she paid a surprise visit to the Youth Division of the AU Commission to inquire about its service and their proposal and/or suggestions to advance youth initiatives. Imagine my shock when I heard that she was the first chairperson to show interest in youth service, wow.

This month, the African political sphere is actively in search of the next AUC chairperson and youths cannot afford to miss this opportunity to share their views and suggestions, or be part of the sustainable solution. Even though the nearly 1 billion youth are not in a position where they have a say to select candidates for this top leadership position of the organization. The young people who have witnessed the work of the Commission, under Dr. Zuma’s Leadership, wonder who amongst the candidates, will be able to carry on her legacy on Youth Agenda advancement. Moreover, the next AUC Chairperson, whose term commences in 2017, will be working towards an agenda of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Africa Towards the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals and AU Agenda 2063.”  The next term will not only be a new era for 2018-2021 strategic planning, but a test for the successor on youth matters.

Dr. Zuma’s Legacy on Promoting the Youth Agenda in Africa.

4-f8taIUAs an African Union Youth Volunteer (AUYV) alumni, I will share my perspective on Dr. Zuma’s legacy in the Commission through the eyes of a youth.

Dr. Zuma’s approach was to develop a well defined strategic plan that would highlight Strategic area number 5,  to  “Mainstream ( women and) youth into all AUC activities.” While partners welcomed and applauded this “first ever, well elaborated strategic plan,” (using the words of a high official in a foreign government agency), this was a major milestone for any stakeholder to accompany the AUC work and to channel resources and energy towards achieving greater results for the African Union. Over the past four years, this has resulted in increased funding for youth related programs that foster skills development for youth throughout the continent.

On May 2013, while celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the OAU, Dr. Zuma strongly advocated for an investment in African youth, more interaction between youths, heads of states and government officials, and further pledged for a Youth Desk. Few months later, she appointed a youth advisor in her office and since then, the AUC host an annual inter -generational dialogue to promote youth mentorship, candid debates and discussions between political positions holders, experts and youth from all six regions of the continent, in order to stimulate ownership of youth agenda by the involved parties.

Overall, Dr Zuma’s leadership has been instrumental in mobilizing more resources and creating additional programs for youth development namely, the AU Youth Volunteer program, the African-German Youth Initiative (exchange program) under the Youth Division, the Legal Associate Program for junior legal experts posted mostly in the Office of Legal Council, the placement of returning Young African Leaders Alumni (Mandela Washington – YALI fellows), as well as the deployment of hundreds of AU volunteers across AUC departments and Liaisons Offices throughout the continent. Most important, Dr. Zuma’s office is staffed with at least 6 youth volunteers, what an achievement!

Dr. Zuma availed herself to young people, both virtually and physically, be it through her attendance at a youth  gathering (chiefly the 2015 Inter-generational Dialogue in South Africa where she invited youth to invade political space), or through a series of tweet-chats and other online social media platforms. But it is the participants of the 10th Africa Regional Convention of Girls Guides and Girls Scout who recall the full participation of Dr. Zuma at their August 2013 event held in Lagos. Although she had a hectic schedule, she spent two days with Continental Volunteers, an organization committed to community service and young girls and women’s development.

Certainly, four years is not enough time for Dr. Zuma to implement her youth agenda. She strongly believes that education is key to unleashing a youth’s potential and innovation in the quest for a people-centered development for Africa through the Agenda 2063. Unfortunately, she may not be able to complete her project to transform the Youth Division into a full, capacitated department of the Commission before her departure.

However, Dr. Zuma’s legacy extends beyond youth issues. The power that lies in her leadership has inspired more women to run for political positions. We see that two out of the three candidates to replace her are females, ,H.E. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana and Dr. Wandira Kazibwe Speciosa, former Minister for Vice President of Uganda, who is currently serving as Advisor for Health and Population to President Museveni.

The Dr. Zuma 2.0 African Youth Want!

If the elections take place in Rwanda this month, there will be three candidates to choose from. In addition to H.E. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi (Bostwana) and Dr Wandira Kazibwe Speciosa (Uganda), there is a male candidate from Equatorial Guinea, Mr. Agapito Mba Mokuy . The candidates are eligible and more than capable to politically hold the position. The question is, which candidate is more youth-friendly and ready to take on the challenge of creating a better future for African youth? Who has the vision with regards to youth development in Africa? Who has more political willpower to gain stakeholders’ interest in the African Youth agenda? Can/should youth expect someone with no interest in youth issues, in his/her country, be able to work wonders at the Commission?

Zuma’s successor must have had previous work experience in youth related issues that speak for itself. African youth desire someone who will advocate for more youth-centered approaches for all of Africa’s challenges. She/he must be ready to advocate for the domestication of ALL AU policies, frameworks and binding instruments that secure social security to youth including the African Youth Charter, The Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections, and make AUC departments, organs, programs, activities and AU decisions more youth-friendly. As a former African Union Youth Volunteer (AUYV), I would like to see the AUYVs have a standing and that budgets are allocated to programs where every young African benefits.

Whoever is elected by the AU Heads of States needs to know that there is no future for Africa without adequate investment in its youth. They would need to establish a legacy greater than Dr. Zuma’s.! We, the youth, await the next AUC chairperson who will push the youth agenda and give us The Africa Youth Want! Youth Hope for Dr. Zuma 2.0!

 

Crisis of Leadership or Crisis of Values in Africa?

amb-fred-ngoga-gateretse-african-union” I often hear that Africa is confronted with a serious crisis of leadership, that Africa knows how to uplift itself out of poverty, that we know how to genuinely stand on our own feet politically, economically and in terms of our security but that our challenge remains our deficit in leadership.

I submit that this might be true but it might be an incomplete story. Leaders are the product of our societies. If our societies are sick, we will produce sick leaders. If our societies are healthy and promote the right values, we will produce leaders with a sense of purpose and direction.

Allow me to make a few points. And these are my personal opinions.

  • First, you cannot have a leader who was not taught to respect human life and ask him to respect human rights.
  • Secondly, you cannot have a leader who was not taught that stealing is bad and ask him to fight corruption.
  • Thirdly, you cannot have a leader who was not taught fairness and ask him to strengthen judicial institutions and democracy.
  • Fourth, the building of our nations will depend, largely, on the values that we give our children.
  • Fifth, African values such as respect for human life, others, not stealing/lying, tolerance, fairness, hard work are a MUST for children if we want great future leaders.

Let me conclude with a quote from the late US President Ronald Reagan who once said that “all great change begins at the dinner table.” Great African leaders will be built at the ‘dinner table’.

Let’s spend more time with our children, give them the best values that we can because this is what will equip them with the necessary tools to deal with tomorrow’s challenges.”

This Opinion, we thought we could share is shared by Ambassador Fred Ngoga on social media.  Ambassador Fred Ngoga Gateretse is a Burundian diplomat currently serving as Head of Conflict Prevention and Early Warning at the African Union’s Peace and Security Department PSD (AUC).

Haiti will not be admitted at the African Union – Here is why!

For the past 3 weeks, media outlets have made some legally “erroneous” announcement that Haiti would join the African Union during the forthcoming AU Summit happening in Kigali, Rwanda. Which was s surprise for me, and I wondered: On which basis that could or would happen? When did the African Union change its Constitutive Act for Haiti who is not located in the continent to belong to such Union?

Although I didn’t have chance to go back to the AU Constitutive Act, I could not just justify and being convinced of Haiti membership, as having worked around the AU Commission, the first criterion for any country to sit in the AU Assembly is the geographic one: being in Africa.

As the summit is getting closer, the African Union Commission has just released a communiqué which totally rejected the possibility of Haiti to be member, on the simple and unique basis of the Art: 29.1 which clearly stated that: Any African State may, at any time after the entry into force of this Act, notify the Chairman of the Commission of its intention to accede to this Act and to be admitted as a member of the Union.”.

The simple exercise for someone with law background could make everyone understand that ONLY AFRICAN STATE can belong to the African Union, enforcing the geographic criterion as the first,  main and automatic one.The press release reads as follow:

DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION

Press Release Nº180/2016

Haiti will not be admitted as African Union Member State at next Summit in Kigali, Rwanda

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 17 May 2016: The African Union Commission informs the public that Haiti will not be admitted as a Member State of the African Union (AU) at its next Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, as erroneously reported by several media outlets.

According to Article 29.1 of the AU’s Constitutive Act, only African States can join the African Union.

Given the importance that the AU accords to the African Diaspora, it has developed strong cooperation with sister States in the Caribbean region and citizens of African descent around the world.

The AU was pleased to welcome Haiti’s President Michel Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to its Summits in the past as Special Guests, and the AU had a high level delegation at the celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of Haiti in Port-au-Prince, in 2004.

The AU Commission has a Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organisations (CIDO), bestowed with the responsibility to facilitate direct peoples’ involvement through Civil Society Organisations from Africa or the Africa Diaspora that wish to interact with the African Union as the “sixth region” of Africa. The proposed 6th Region made of the African Diaspora still awaits ratification by AU Member States.
Worthy of notice is a special Summit organized in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2012, to deepen the relationship between the AU and the African Diaspora. The conclusions of the Summit are in the process of being implemented.

 

Africa’s global influence depends on youths’ voice

By Sekou Touré

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The annual Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa that was held in Ethiopia mid last month brought together African Heads of State and Government representatives, academicians and opinion leaders.

The theme “Africa in the Global Security Agenda”, was equally apt and timely. The informal nature of the discussions allowed participants to engage in frank and honest debates on the gains, challenges and possible solutions to peace and security issues on the continent.

The general consensus of participants was the slow but increasingly influential role of Africa as a key actor on the global stage within a systemic balance of power that is gradually shifting from a unipolar and towards a more multipolar system. This slow but steady rise of Africa is contrary to previous decades, especially during and in the aftermath of the Cold War era when the continent was viewed as a mere pawn on the global political chessboard.

The emergence of new economies, more so China, has presented Africa with more trading opportunities as well as easy access to grants with minimal pre-conditions.

In essence, the relations between Africa and its new “friends” have to an extent provided the continent with leverage on the global stage. This has been witnessed by power plays in the Security Council, in most cases mainly between China and Russia on one hand, and the United States and its allies on the other. The power plays have more so been with regard to key peace and security issues affecting the continent.

Despite the slight, but increasing assertiveness of Africa’s voice on the international stage, the continent still has a long way to go before it can forcefully stump its authority on key global institutions, particularly in the United Nations Security Council.

In light of these, one of the main challenges that came out during the forum was the lack of internal institutional funding for the African Union (AU) to effectively and efficiently tackle peace and security issues afflicting the continent.

The other hindrance to Africa’s voice on the global stage was cited as disconnect between the AU and representatives of the continent at the United Nations headquarters. This has led to conflicting diplomatic stand on various issues of interest to the continent.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the varied sovereign States across the continent have their own interest that they aim to protect and promote. Hence, unless the AU member states agree on and adopt a common supranational kind of foreign policy on major issues of concern to the continent, Africa’s stand on the international stage will be of less impact than other global actors and regional players.

Despite these challenges, the future of a brighter or bleak Africa depends more importantly on the political goodwill of its leaders to establish and strengthen fundamental institutions and organisations from the regional level, through sub-regional and national levels, to the sub-national levels.

The increased participation of youth in the discourse of key issues affecting the continent is likely to accelerate the attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063, positioning the continent as an indispensable actor on the global stage.

In contrary, the continued marginalisation and disenfranchisement of Africa’s young population is likely to undermine the economic gains that the continent has gained over the last decade.

Article Previously published in Standard Media, Kenya