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Banjul Youth speaker return from Africa-EU course

Jun 17, 2010, 1:07 PM

The Speaker for the Banjul Youth Parliament, who also doubles as the Programme Officer of the National Youth Parliament of The Gambia, Hon. Conteh returned home recently after attending a week long training course in South Africa.

The cousre was organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in the framework of the Youth Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union, in co-operation with the Africa Institute of South Africa, the European Youth Forum and the Pan-African Youth Union at the University of Limpopo.

The course, which brought together closed to 30 participants from youth organisations from Africa and Europe was aimed, amongst other things, to strengthen individual and organisational capacities and skills for youth participation in development and youth leadership; develop a common understanding of the situations and challenges faced by young people in Africa and Europe;

In an interview with the Youth Forum, he expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the North South of the Council of Europe in the framework of the Youth Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union in co-operation with the Africa Institute of South Africa and their partners for selecting him to participate in the unique training.

According to Conteh, the training reinforces opportunities for co-operation and dialogue between societies in Europe and Africa and acquainted the participants with the framework of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership; and also served as a preparatory moment and consultation towards the 2nd Africa Europe Youth Summit, scheduled to take place in November 2010, in Tripoli, Libya.

The training further acquired us the know-how on concepts and challenges of youth work, youth rights (e.g. African Youth Charter, its implementation and polarisation), youth policies and institutions in the two regions; namely the Pan-African Youth Union and the European Youth Forum to reflect upon topics of importance to strengthen active citizenship of young people in the two continents and to live through an intercultural experience with the opportunity of learning about each other and encountering local realities to synergise efforts to promote solidarity and integration with the view of responding to challenges facing youth development in Africa and Europe.

The major highlight of the training was development of a declaration which reflects on common issues of interest to partners in consolidating the earlier earns on the partnership. The issues included the youth participation and mobility, through enhancing more financial allocations to the National Youth Councils and creating joint funding mechanism to support youth projects in Africa and Europe, MDGs, Good Governance and Democracy, Unemployment, Youth and Illegal Migration

The Youth Speaker revealed that as part of the objectives of the training package participants were given the opportunity to develop on concrete projects with their counterparts, Thus, the National Youth Parliament has developed exchange programmes with their Swiss counterparts to address on issues, such as inter-cultural changes, illegal migration, capacity building trainings, promote the MDG's, especially develop a global partnership in development, development of tool kits; Raise awareness on issues affecting youth in Europe and Africa through video documentaries, etc. The project will be piloted in The Gambia and Madagascar, he concluded.