Governance: Why should the Sahel (and the G5 Sahel) rely on its youth to get better!

Since its creation in February 2014 by five Sahel region countries, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, the G5 Sahel is gradually materializing. The G5 Sahel or “G5S” is said to be, according to its Permanent Secretary, “an institutional framework for coordination and monitoring of regional cooperation in development and security policies”.

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The G5 Sahel Community – Picture (all Copyright reserved to its author)

Although all these countries already belong to different regional communities, the G5 Sahel was easy to unite, due to an existing homogeneity between its peoples and the geostrategic position of the region which is also the nest of Youth radicalization in Africa, and thereby becoming the fertile ground for terrorist activities. Unfortunately, the region offers the facilitation to young West Africans’ migration to Europe via Mediterranean roads; not to mention that the Sahel region is experiencing latent ethnic conflicts and growing insecurity arising from several factors, including the climate change.

With such states’ fragility, looking at issues related to the demographic dividend seems to be a priority in Africa, not only to convert the strength and grip of (especially literate) young people activism for well-being into a force, but also to channel their efforts on a more comprehensive approach towards the management of public affairs at the triple level of governance, namely political, economic and social governance.

When looking for solutions towards better political governance, the guarantee of comprehensive democratic practice, the reality of changeover and transparency in elections, the promotion of the most basic civil and political rights are important subjects that could position youth as the strongest link of the society. As they volunteer, well-trained and engaged youth can help ensure that citizens’ right to vote is respected and secured.

In the area of ​​economic governance, a greater part of the resolution of issues can be devolved to young people who can help find durable solutions to the fight against economic crimes, develop the rural economy, reducing public health spending (for example), while building on their imagination, innovation and creativity.

Coming to social governance, it is possible to succeed in converting young people, who are the major social services beneficiaries, into actors, catalysts and multipliers of initiatives of great social significance, in the sense of a “self-empowerment” that can be duplicated and expanded. To do this, whether they are inside the country or in the Diaspora, youth could facilitate a transfer of competence and values ​​that convey work, patriotism, collaboration, diversity and tolerance between ethnic groups and social classes.

To achieve this, it requires, quite simply, that the young generation today, more than in the past, takes ownership of matters of major importance to the region its belongs to and assumes its responsibilities, as required by Article 26 of the African Charter on Youth. !

It is in this context that, far from big and sporadic forums whose results are yet to come, Zayrah Africa, a Youth-led and Youth-focus development agency, through its regional coordination “Zayrah Sahel”, strives to CONSTANTLY, MONTHLY mobilize young people of the Diaspora of the Sahel region, during the “Saturday of the Sahel”. The goal of this initiative is to increase the participation and contribution of young people to the governance efforts of their respective States and the Sahel community.

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For its first edition scheduled for September 30th, 2017 in Dakar at the African Institute of Management (IAM), the “Saturday of the Sahel” will the discuss about: “how to harness the demographic dividend in the Sahel region in order to improve governance “. This will be an open space for debate, followed by proposals, recommendations and above all commitments of the participants to help, even at a micro level, to build better political, economic and social governance in the frame of the Charter African Association of Democracy, Elections and Governance.

At the end of every “Saturday of the Sahel”, which will bring together members of civil society organizations, academics, researchers, media, political and state authorities and youth organizations in the Sahel region and Senegal, recommendations will be shared amongst decision-makers to better capture the demographic dividend in the region in order to enhance its governance.

It is worth recalling that the topic of the discussion falls within the framework of the African Union’s theme of the year 2017, entitled “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youth”.

Zayrah Sahel is a member of the West Civil Society and is based in Senegal. It’s part of the South Africa-based Zayrah Africa, a network present in Mozambique, Tunisia, Benin and Cameroon (through Zayrah Foundation).

For more information, please contact the Zayrah Sahel Coordinator, Mr Michael MATONGBADA, at info.zayrahsahel@gmail.com, tel: +221 77 476 79 46.

This is an unofficial version translated from the French article.

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Gouvernance: Pourquoi le Sahel (et le G5 Sahel) doit compter sur sa jeunesse pour mieux se porter!

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Depuis sa création en Février 2014 par cinq États du Sahel : Burkina Faso,  Mali, Mauritanie, Niger et Tchad, le G5 Sahel se met progressivement en place. Le G5 Sahel ou « G5S » est dit être : « un cadre institutionnel de coordination et de suivi de la coopération régionale en matière de politiques de développement et de sécurité ».

Bien que tous ces pays appartiennent déjà à des ensembles régionaux différents, le G5 Sahel était facile à réunir, en fonction d’une homogénéité entre ses peuples et la position géostratégique de la région qui se veut être le nid de la radication de la jeunesse africaine favorisant ainsi le développement d’activités terroristes. La région offre malheureusement la facilitation de l’émigration des jeunes ouest africains vers l’Europe, par les routes méditerranéennes, sans oublier que le Sahel connaît des conflits ethniques latents et une insécurité grandissante née de plusieurs facteurs dont la question de la gestion d’eau, causée par les changements climatiques.

Avec une telle fragilité de ses Etats, l’examen des questions liées au dividende démographique semble devenir une priorité en Afrique pour, non seulement convertir la force et la poigne des jeunes (surtout lettrés) dans leur activisme pour un bien-être en une force ouvrière, mais aussi concentrer leurs efforts sur une approche plus globale de la gestion de la chose publique, au triple niveau de la gouvernance étatique: politique, économique et sociale.

Dans la quête des solutions pour une meilleure de gouvernance politique, la garantie de la pratique démocratique dans tout son ensemble, la réalité de l’alternance et de la transparence lors des élections, la promotion des droits civils et politiques les plus basiques sont autant de sujets qui pourraient positionner la jeunesse comme le plus fort maillon et avant-gardiste de la société. Le volontariat d’une jeunesse, si bien formée et engagée, peut aider à s’assurer que le droit de vote de tous les citoyens est respecté et sécurisé.

En matière de gouvernance économique, une plus grande part de la résolution des questions peut être dévolue à la jeunesse qui peut aider à trouver des solutions durables à la lutte contre les crimes économiques, développer l’économie rurale, renforcer l’efficacité de l’administration publique, réduire les dépenses liées à la santé publique (par exemple) tout en se basant sur leur sens d’imagination, d’innovation et de créativité.

Sur le registre de la gouvernance sociale, il est possible de réussir à convertir les jeunes, grands bénéficiaires des services sociaux de l’Etat, en acteurs, catalyseurs et leaders des initiatives de haute portée sociale, dans le sens d’une « auto-autonomisation » pouvant être dupliquée et élargie. Pour ce faire, la jeunesse de chaque Etat, qu’elle se trouve à l’intérieur du pays ou dans la Diaspora, pourrait faciliter un transfert de compétence et de valeurs qui véhiculent le travail, l’amour de la patrie, le sens de la collaboration, de la diversité et de la tolérance entre ethnies, classes et castres sociales.

Pour y arriver, il requiert, tout banalement, que la jeune génération actuelle, mieux que par le passé, s’approprie les questions d’importance majeure pour la région à laquelle elle appartient et prenne ses responsabilités, tel qu’exige l’article 26 de la Charte africaine de la Jeunesse. ! 

C’est dans ce contexte que loin des grands et sporadiques fora dont les résultats font encore attendre, Zayrah Africa, une Agence de développement créée et gérée par des jeunes africains, à travers sa coordination régionale « Zayrah Sahel », a pensé à une mobilisation CONSTANTE, MENSUELLE des jeunes de la Diaspora de la Région du Sahel, au cours des « Samedi du Sahel ». Le simple but de cette initiative est d’accroître durablement la participation et la contribution des jeunes aux efforts de gouvernance de leurs pays respectifs et de la communauté.

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Pour sa première édition prévue le 30 de Septembre 2017 à Dakar à l’Institut Africain de Management (IAM), le « Samedi du Sahel » articulera les discussions autour de : « comment tirer profit du dividende démographique dans la région du Sahel pour renforcer sa gouvernance ». Ce sera une conférence – débat  suivie de propositions, de recommandations et surtout d’engagements des participants à aider, même à un niveau micro, à l’édification d’une meilleure gouvernance, tant politique, économique que sociale, au sens de la Charte Africaine de la Démocratie, des Elections et de la Gouvernance.

Ce numéro 1 des « Samedis du Sahel », qui regroupera des membres de la société civile, d’universitaires, de chercheurs, d’autorités politiques et étatiques et d’organisations de jeunesse de la région du Sahel et du Sénégal, permettra de proposer des recommandations pertinentes à l’endroit des décideurs pour une meilleure capture du dividende démographique dans la région afin de renforcer sa gouvernance.

Il faut souligner que ce sujet de discussion entre dans le cadre du thème de l’année 2017 de l’Union africaine, intitulé : « Tirer pleinement profit du dividende démographique en investissant dans la jeunesse ».

Zayrah Sahel est membre de la société civile Ouest et est basée au Sénégal. Il fait partie du réseau de Zayrah Africa basé en Afrique du Sud et présent en au Mozambique, en Tunisie, au Bénin et au Cameroun (à travers Zayrah Foundation).

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter le Coordonateur de Zayrah Sahel, Monsieur Michael MATONGBADA par email : info.zayrahsahel@gmail.com ou par téléphone : +221 77 476 79 46.

Opportunity: Apply to be an African Union Youth Volunteer in 2018!

Deadline for submission of applications: Monday, 31st July 2017 at Midnight GMT+3

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

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The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC), established in 2010, is a continental development program that promotes youth volunteerism in Africa. The program aims to deepen the status of young people as key actors in Africa’s development targets and goals, enhancing their participation in policy development as well as design and implementation of relevant interventions towards the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, ‘The Africa we want’. It brings people together to share skills, knowledge, creativity and learning to build a more integrated, prosperous and
peaceful Continent driven by its citizens. The volunteering opportunities are intended to build professionalism and a sense of responsibility among the participants, thus enhancing their employability.

Young African professionals are recruited to serve for a period of 12 months as AU Volunteers in an AU Member State other than their own. The next intake of volunteers for deployment in 2018 will be from the 11th – 31st of July 2017.

Eligibility Criteria:
Applicants have to meet the following criteria:
1. Citizen of an AU Member State living on the continent or the Diaspora;
2. Aged between 18 – 35 years;
3. Have a post-secondary certified qualification(s) (TVET, Bachelor’s degree or
equivalent)
4. Available in 2018 to dedicate 12 (twelve) months for volunteer work;
5. Willing to live and work in another AU Member State;
6. Is proficient in at least one AU working language (Arabic, English, French,
Portuguese);
7. Has at least one year verifiable volunteering experience and one year
professional work experience.

Application Process (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):

Before clicking the apply now button below, please note the following

1. You will need to fill in a form on the next page. This form will help us assess your suitability for the program. Kindly respect the stated word limit. You are advised to type your answers in a Word Processor (such as Microsoft Word) before pasting in the relevant fields.
2. You will also need to add in a motivation letter with a maximum of 750 words. This should be added under the ‘Cover letter’ text box. Please ensure that your motivation letter answers the following:

  • Why you want to become an African Union Youth Volunteer?
  • Why you believe you are the best candidate to be an African Union Youth Volunteer?
  • What is your experience(s) (formal or informal) in youth civic engagement and participation, youth empowerment and/or promoting Pan-Africanism?
  • How has your previous experience(s) prepared you to work in diverse teams and cultures?
  • What change do you expect to see in yourself, the organization that you will be deployed in, and the community that you will be part of after your year of service?

3. Attach a copy of your CV
4. You will ALSO need to attach the following. Please merge these as one PDF document and attach that document. You might choose to use a service such as http://www.pdfmerge.com to do this.

  • A copy of the identity page in your passport or national identity card
  • Highest post-secondary certified qualification(s)
  • Signed Letter of Recommendation verifying your volunteer experience(s)

5. Deadline for submission of applications is Monday, 31st July 2017 at Midnight GMT+3

Please note:

  1. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered
  2. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified
  3. Candidates who had applied in previous years are and still meet the eligibility criteria are encourage to re-apply

Recruitment Process & Key Dates

  1. 1st August – eligibility Check;
  2. 14th August: Successful applicants will be notified;
  3. September 2017: Pre-deployment training;
  4. 2018: Deployment of trained volunteers.

Click here to read the full announcement

Apply Now: https://goo.gl/rm4jnm

Volunteer Entitlements:
For the successful candidates, the African Union Commission and its partners will
cover the full costs of their pre-deployment training.
On deployment, African Union Youth Volunteers receive the following:
1. Economy return air ticket from home town to place of deployment
2. A modest monthly stipend
3. Health insurance cover
4. Separation allowance upon successful completion of twelve months service

More Information:
For more information/queries, please contact Ms Prudence Ngwenya (Head of Human
Resources and Youth Development Division); or Mr Daniel Adugna (AU Youth
Program Officer) on youth@africa-union.org
Visit our website: http://www.africa-youth.org
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/auyvc / www.facebook.com/africa.youth
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/au_yvc / www.twitter.com/auyouthprogram

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

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

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

 

APPLY: African Union’s Intercontinental Youth Forum on Violent Extremism

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Disclaimer: All rights reserved to the author 

Preventing/countering violent extremism (PCVE) is an issue that has been addressed nationally, regionally and globally since the turn of the millennium. PCVE is generally pursued through coercive hard power such as military-dominated peace support operations and surveillance to name a few. Although these methods have proven effective to a certain extent, they come at a high cost both financially and in human lives, while still failing to completely eradicate violent extremism.

Objectives: The objective of the trans-continental dialogue programme on PCVE through the soft power of religion is to create a transcontinental platform that will bring together stakeholders from Africa and Europe to deliberate on these issues and produce contemporary recommendations and activities on how to prevent/counter violent extremism. The dialogue further aims to:

  • Strengthen inter- & intra-religious efforts and strategies in preventing/countering violent extremism and promoting conflict prevention, peace building, reconciliation and conflict transformation;
  • Facilitate inter-religious dialogue as a tool to influence policy and advocacy in Africa and Europe;
  • Establish a platform for partnership between African and European stakeholders, particularly faith-based and interfaith organizations to work together in addressing common issues such as promoting a culture of peace and building trust, peace and common values.

Long-term objectives

  • Promote values of tolerance, mutual respect and better understanding centered around intra- and inter-faith, inter-religious and inter-cultural values that are the core principles for integration and peace.
  • Achieve behavioural change of communities and individuals, redefining contemporary human values for tolerance and integration.
  • Reach out, educate and de-radicalize target groups (particular focus on youth) and train respective stakeholders.

This intercontinental forum will provide a platform to discuss different means of preventing/countering violent extremism by drawing on the soft power of religion and dialogue and, accordingly making policies at the local, national and regional levels that are relevant to both Africa and Europe. The forum will bring together a group of experts and practitioners on interfaith dialogue, countering violent extremism, and de-radicalization along with a representative group of youth from Africa and Europe. The forum will focus on the following objectives:

  1. To develop strategic directions for the Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (IDOVE) project based on principles and methods of interfaith dialogue on countering violent extremism and de-radicalization.
  2. To develop suitable concepts and applications for the IDOVE website that will be launched at the Forum.
  3. To develop concepts and mechanisms to support small scale youth-run projects to be implemented in Africa and Europe within the project objectives.
  4. To design plans for a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to monitor the implementation of small scale projects, following up on them through annual meetings.

Participation: The forum is primarily geared towards empowering youth to conceptualize and develop projects using the two major approaches of the IDOVE project: Social Media and Small Scale Projects. Therefore, the following criteria will form the basis of the participant selection process:

  1. Aged between 20-35
  2. Citizen or resident of a European or an African country
  3. Fluency in either English or French, in addition to fluency in another language
  4. Proven interest in interfaith, de-radicalization and/or preventing/countering violent extremism, as evident from having:
    • Developed projects related to those topics
    • Participated in projects related to those topics
    • Conducted formal research on those topics
    • Participated in conferences, workshops and forums on those topics

Applications must be completed using the online application system and must be submitted by midnight of Sunday, 15 January 2017.  Notifications of admission to the forum will be sent during the last week of January 2017.  The organizers will cover all travel and accommodation costs associated with the forum.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

#AddYourVoice : Define priorities for Youth Development in Africa, in 1 min!

The African Union’s theme for the year 2017 is ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth’.

A Demographic Dividend Road Map was developed with the purpose of highlighting the work that needs to be achieved in four pillars:
1. Employment & Entrepreneurship
2. Education & Skills Development
3. Health & Well-being
4. Rights, Governance & Youth Empowerment

In this regard, the African Union Youth Division is kindly requesting that Youth take the lead of this exercice by filling out this short questionnaire in LESS THAN 1 min! Your submissions will enable the African Union Commission to align its activities and programmes around what YOU, the African youth, consider as priorities in 2017 and beyond.

Click here to fill the form

Call for submissions – Get a chance to attend the African Union’s Heads of States Summit in January 2017!

This year, the continent of Africa will be commemorating the Africa Youth Day on November 1st, under the theme: “Promoting youth mainstreaming as a catalyst towards harnessing the demographic dividend.”

ayd-16Africa Youth Day is a day set aside every year to promote the increased recognition of youth as key agents of social change, economic growth and sustainable development in all areas of African Society. It is an occasion to celebrate the youth on the continent, opportunity to contribute and channel youth motivation, energy and creativity towards the achievement of the African agenda. All young people contribute to shaping society to lead it towards political, social and economic renewal.

The purpose of this day is also, to contribute and channel the youth voices, energy and idealism to reinforce the efforts towards the achievement of sustainable development in Africa. The chosen theme will nest on and magnify the preamble to the African Union 2017 theme of the year on “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in the youth.” This theme seeks to extend reflection, actions and initiatives towards reaping this demographic transition. As part of the continent-wide celebrations, the African Union Commission will be marking this day by launching the Youth Mainstreaming Guideline.

This is a call for submission in the form of an abstract/write-up, artistic impression, video, blog around the following four thematic pillars of the demographic dividend road-map:

  • Pillar 1: Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Pillar 2: Education and Skills Development
  • Pillar 3: Health and Wellbeing
  • Pillar 4: Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.

Selected entries will be invited to partake in the 2017 January Heads of States Summit. Female applicants are highly encouraged to apply.

What and how to submit: Write-ups should be no more than 1000 words. Support your work by sending further evidence such as pictures and/or videos and nomination/recommendation letters.

Kindly note that only high resolution photos and videos will be accepted. Send links to big files (Videos/photos/blogs etc.). Include the following information as part of your submission: Name of your project or your organisation and country or region your work affect, your age and sex. Send your entries directly to: youth@africa-union.org with the “AU Youth Day 2016” in the subject line.

The deadline for submissions is 25 October, 2015.

The African Union Commission further encourages young people and youth organisation across the continent to host activities in their communities and share these events with us to document and upscale where possible to a continental audience. Such activities may include engaging in dialogues on youth participation in decision making processes, showcasing talents among others. This is in a bid to ensure that African youth are at the forefront and continue to strive for their ownership in Africa’s development agenda.

Download the Concept Note here, send you work to the African Union Youth Division and you could be selected to join the celebration in Addis Ababa for the 28th AU Summit in January 2017! Good Luck!

Source: African Union Youth Division Website