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Youth Council signs MoU with Pan-African Youth

May 23, 2016, 1:36 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) and Pan African Youth Union (PYU) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding as part of events marking ten years of the African Youth Charter and Banjul +10 Summit being held at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms Francine Muyumba, president of Pan African Youth Union, said the entry of the sustainable development goals had opened up the space for young people’s engagement with regional and national youth-led frameworks having the opportunity to spearhead priorities for action in this development process.

Investment made in young people during this critical period would shape lives and the future of a world that would be increasingly dependent on them, she added.

“The world today is facing a demographic transition that has seen the largest cohort of young people in history.This demographic profile specially seen in the global south, and specifically in Africa, is a pool of human resources capital that if harnessed could reap dividends that have the potential to sustain and grow the socio-economic growth in these regions.

“To reap this so-called demographic dividend requires a social, political and economic environment where the critical mass of concretized and empowered youth bulge can find decent jobs, and have the enabling environment to create jobs through entrepreneurship.”

She also said the role of youths in utilising this enabling environment is key and, more importantly, is the dire need to draw synergies from different youth-led initiatives to share experiences and knowledge and good practices so as to enhance collaboration of youth-led responses.

Ms Muyumba further said key frameworks like the UN agenda 2030 and the African Union agenda 2063 have affirmed that integrating young people’s needs and rights are key factors for success in the implementation of the goals and targets.

She also said it would be key for young people to receive the training and capacity building, education and skills building and engagement in the arts and culture that introduce innovative ways of harnessing the potential of young people.

She added that spearheading the role of young people is the critical role of the institutionalised youth frameworks to formalize, and ensure sustainable framework of engagement of young people, including allowing them to have recognised mechanisms to engage with leaders and other young people.

“To mark the increasing potential will aim to formalise partnerships between the two organisations and enhance the collaborative role of regional youth frameworks, and the potential to complement efforts and synergies priorities and areas of work aimed at youth development.”

Ms Muyumba also stated that investments in human and social dividends of improve health, education and the empowerment of women would be key in harnessing the demographic transition into a dividend to enhance the sustainable development in Africa.

“A youth bulge that is skilled, healthy, empowered, educative is a labour force that when connected through institutional frameworks, networks and partnerships will attract investments to the youth sector,” she added.

Dr Mahama Oudrego, director of HRST department at the African Union Commission, said he wanted to ensure that the leadership of the continent invest very much on youths, which is all what the MoU is about.

He said the youths that die in the Mediterranean, as well as those dying in mining areas, have to be remembered, to serve as a memorial event.Ronald Osumba, chairman of the National Youth and Sports Advisory Board of Kenya, said partnership is the way to drive significant impact, and it is through partnership that they could make an impact through the practices.