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13 January to 17 January 2014 Report presented By: Felix Haingura (President of AfriYAN Namibia) & Tikhala Itaye (Vice-President of AfriYAN Namibia)
From 13 January to 17 January, the 4th Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit of the United Nation (UN) was held in Dakar, Senegal, on the theme: Youth Unemployment in the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the UN. Youth Leaders from all over Africa and some from Diaspora came together to discuss on this particular issue. The general objective of the Summit was to establish a platform to facilitate the participation of young people in the development of the post2015 agenda. Youth employment is a priority in the development policies of the Heads of State and the government of Africa. This Summit was intended to be action-oriented and to offer an opportunity to shape Youth projects that have effectively contributed to the acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals and play an important role in the post-2015 development agenda of the UN (MDGs). The Summit had 10 Plenary sessions that where presented on different topics by different prominent leaders. Each session presented information on the topic and Youth leaders where given an opportunity to ask question and give contributions on the topic. The following Plenary Sessions were presented: 1) Placing Youth at the Heart of the UN post-2015 Development Agenda 2) Youth Unemployment, Exploration of Proposals and Avenues: Perspectives of Ministries of Youth and Employment 3) Partnership of Youth from Africa and the Diaspora: Solidarity for Development 4) The Challenges of the Demographic Dividend and efforts towards and AIDS free generation 5) An illustration of Decentralization Efforts and Implementation of Youth Policies at the Local Government Level 6) Concurrent Panel Discussions sessions 7) Detrimental Practices and the Development of Young People 8) Young People at the Heart of the “Protect the Goal” Campaign 9) The Cultural Dimension of the “Protect the Goal” Campaign 10) Declaration of the Summit This report will highlight the main aspects from each plenary session and recommendations will also be included.
The Opening Ceremony
The welcome and the introduction to the Summit were presented by the Mr Pap Moussa Sow, President of ROJALNU, Mr Aliou Sow, President of the
Senegalesse Youth Council, Mr Alioune Gueye and Ms Angela Guimarses, ViceSecretary-General National Youth of the Brazillian The
presentations were quite profound with moving statements. It was highlighted that the theme of the Summit Youth Unemployment is depicted as a time bomb we should try diffuse. The challenges to this issue is that schools in most African countries do not prepare the Youth for productive jobs and that measures are not being adopted that will be suitable for the working world. Bad governance is another problem we are faced with for it hinders the growth of economic sustainability. African Youth need to take up their full potential to reduce Youth unemployment. Private enterprises, agricultural sectors, non-governmental organisations, government, all sectors need to collaborate in the development of our countries, for change to happen, we must all work together. Furthermore, we need to focus on social mobilization, Youth participation and the Youth need to develop initiatives that are innovative. Mr Alioune Gueye boldly stated that, “Africa should be built with and for Youth.” It was mentioned that in Brazil the Youth call on the governments to support them. The 2002 conference in Indonesia where Ministers of Youth got together and placed the Youth on their agenda is a step forward and the governments need to support the Youth and make them a priority. Statements by officials on issues of African Development were made by Dr. Mamadou Daillo, Regional support team UNAIDS for East and Central Africa, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA and Mr Cheickh Hadjibou Soumare, President of the West African economic and Monetary Union Commission. It was highlighted that the Youth should be
the spear heads of transformation. Social ill justice is playing a barrier to progression and we are calling for social cohesion. Countries need to invest in research and technology as well so that they may emerge higher than constantly depending on donor money. In Kenya, the Youth are the pioneers of new technology, so the Youth are an investment and not an expense. Dr. Osotimehin stated that countries to strengthen and empower Youth and invest in their capabilities. Access to resources need to be given to young people. There is growth in Africa that is not inclusive that excludes the vulnerable population and there is a need to invest in human capacity, according to Dr. Osotimehin, “If you do not put money out, you will not get good quality.” We can only expect a turnover in our economies if we put education and health first. Mr Cheickh stated that it is important to look into the co-ordination of facilities towards the training of young people. The Youth should be given the opportunity to express themselves and they constitute the well-energy to move forward. Culture may play an important role but we are in a new generation, new society and therefore we need a new mentality. Unfortunately the President of the Republic of Senegal could not attend the Summit. However the Prime Minister of Senegal presented the opening statements on his behalf. The profound statements that were expressed were that, the Youth should be considered as the essential human capital and through empowerment and availability of resources we will be capable of attaining employment opportunities for the Youth. It was estimated that 1/5th of the global population in the world represents the Youth and therefore governments need to work on building ambitious policies. The UN has been working intensively towards the MDG’s and the Youth need to do the same. The Prime Minister also agreed that all actors need to be involved, the civil society and the private sector.
1st Plenary Session
Placing Youth at the Heart of the UN post-2015 development Agenda The Honorary Chairman of ROJALNU, Dr. Djibril Diallo opened up the session. The session was presented by panelists such as the Minister of Youth of Niger, the Minister of Health of Niger and a Youth leader from Ghana, Samuel Kissi. In this session each panellist was allocated time to present on the topic. Young people emerged as key agents to social change. The Minister of Youth of Niger highlighted 5 critical issues that affect Youth unemployment: 1) Lack of access to quality education 2) Gender Inequality, women and young girls are still neglected when it comes to education 3) Discrimination 4) Lack of employment opportunities 5) Current social and economic inequality that must be reshaped With that mentioned he concluded to say that as Youth we need to effectively advocate for positive change and that there needs to be universal access to Sexual Reproductive Health services and information so that they are equipped to face the challenges in the world.
Samual Kissi focused on the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) process and had mentioned 4 important aspects that we need to focus on: 1) To create decent work opportunities and not just any time of work 2) To provide education that includes practicality in their teaching curriculum 3) Promote healthy living 4) To have meaningful Youth participation and leadership 5) To invest in the capability of the Youth A recommendation was made to visit www.ICPDbeyond2014.org to know more about what they are doing. We need to realize the knowledge is power and therefore education is important for the Youth.
Some information was shared on what is being done in Niger, they have adopted some measures to guarantee economic sustainability, the boy/girl ratio has increased in higher education and the promotion of basic education is their priority. They have community radios to promote access to information for those in the rural areas.
After the presentations were presented, Tikhala Itaye and a few other Youth leaders contributed to the discussion. Tikhala had added that it is important that we invest in teachers and the inputs that go towards producing quality education, “good teachers are resigning because of poor salaries thus the inputs also need to be a priority that need to be invested in.” Some Youth leaders questioned the implementation process of policies, how they are not effectively done. Thus when policies are made then the governments must be hard-pressed to strictly work towards them.
2nd Plenary Session
Youth Unemployment, Exploration of Proposals and Avenues: Perspectives of Ministries of Youth and Employment This session was presented by Mr Benoit Sambou, Minister of Youth in Senegal, Mr Mahamane Baby, Minister of Employment, Professional training and Official spokesperson of the Government of Mali, Mr Driss Guerraoui, Secretary-General of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Morrocco and the President of the Young Entrepreneurship Network in Senegal.
In this discussion it was laid down that unemployment is a problem all over the world and it affects the Youth from fully participating. Countries need to take advantage of the agriculture production, processing and services to create jobs and the Youth should make use of their utmost potential to add value to these sectors. The public civil sector cannot cater to all Youth therefore we need job creativeness: the government needs to provide information, guidance and training centres to the Youth. Furthermore they need to focus on creating the right conditions to enable job creation. Countries need to ratify and commit to the provisions of the African Youth Charter in order to create conditions for Youth employment.
The Youth have their future in their own hands, they need to speak up and claim resources. Some strategies that arouse where that: we need to promote Youth integration, come up with a National Youth Entrepreneurship event to promote Youth entrepreneurship and mentoring, establish concepts of producing and consuming our local products than depending on imports (informal sectors can be formalized which would become profitable to the State). The biggest issue in
Africa is the wastage of resources and embezzlement so the Youth need to advocate against such issues. In Mali, they have amended their Labour code in order to enable recruitment, they invest in vocational training, they have linked education and vocational training and they have established a project in the rural area for Youth training. Moreover they have a National Labour Centre where they have implemented a volunteer program which encourages National Integration. According to Mr. Mahamane, “Leaders need to offer the space and the Youth should occupy the space.”
3rd Plenary Session
Partnership of Youth from Africa and the Diaspora: Solidarity for Development This session was presented by Miss Gine Hargitatay, Miss Jamaica 2013, Mr Hama Souvi from Mauritania, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Officer of ROJALNU, John Yearwood representing the United States, Louis Marital Ndoumbe representing Europe, Achal Rokia representing North Africa and Marie Tomoifo representing Central Africa. This discussion focused on the importance of collaboration, partnership and networking. It was advised that: 1) We need to create and build a knowledge bank/blog where we share information. Building a bridge between Africa and the diaspora can help a nation advance in technology, obtaining skills and knowledge by learning from each other. 2) We need to make a contact list, a global one and encourage programs for the government to sponsor oversees study and have joint partnerships with other nations. 3) We need to focus on training and obtaining skills that can help our own countries.
4th Plenary Session
The Challenges of the Demographic Dividend and efforts towards and AIDS free generation This session was presented by Mr. Benoit Kalasa, Regional Director of UNFPA, First Lady of Chad and The Director of a National Woman Centre in Nigeria and Youth Leaders from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Botswana and Kenya.
The resolutions from this presentation were that this Summit provides a base for advocacy in our various countries and it initiates programs that will develop the skills of the Youth. There is a need to address the development issues especially for the marginalized and we need to aim to achieve an equitable and sustainable economy. There are approximately 38 million Youth in Africa that are aspiring for jobs, freedom and social justice and there cannot be sustainable growth without employment. Some interventional areas that can promote employment are in micro-economic policies, entrepreneurship polices education and training.
With the issues on HIV/AIDS it was stated that adolescents and the Youth are being orphaned at a terrible rate. HIV/AIDS mission under the UN has made significant progress in the reduction of the infection. 5 million people in the world are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS and young people are in the centre of this epidemic. We are faced with social economic and social crisis however informal networks have begun to demand HIV services to young people based on social justice. The UN has developed action plans and it is therefore time for full participation and empowerment of the Youth. AIDS in Africa is still unfinished business so we need the determination and the drive as Nelson Mandela, we should leave that legacy as young people. For an AIDS free generation, we need to look into ways to control the birth rate, establishing Youth friendly health services and encourage and empower the Youth to know the HIV status and in protecting themselves. Concerns were placed on those in the rural areas without access of proper health services, out of school Youth and that early marriages need to be done away with. With the Impact of demographic reduction in fertility rate, it is important that family have fewer children. There is this “sugar daddy phenomenon” which will be reduced if employment opportunities are visible. Young girls are taken advantage of, Culture taboos and parents are not communicating with their children about sexual activities this needs to be addressed. Many Youth leaders placed their concerns that we need to embark on discussions on finding solutions practical tools and action plans that we can adopt than constantly discussing what we need. Tikhala Itaye had an opportunity to add that, “we have been talking about we need to do this and that and I believe it’s time we focused on HOW we do it.”
Nigeria has a Youth enterprise scheme that has created over 24 000 jobs, however it was not mentioned on how exactly they manage to achieve this. Great speakers are not willing to put their words in action. As Obama said, “change is now and young people need to act now.” Recommendation came from the Director of a National Woman Centre in regards to the rural areas: road show in rural areas for young people and take issues on radio because it is cheap and reaches rural areas and it reaches all parts in the country and you can use film and TV to entertain and educate as well as making documentaries about issues and view them in different languages. In addition, we should learn to take command and do not always depend government.
5th Plenary Session
An illustration of Decentralization Efforts and Implementation of Youth Policies at the Local Government Level. This session was presented by Mr. Robert Beugre Mambe, Governor of the District of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Mrs. Ayanda Dlodlo Special envoy of President Zuma (The 1st Lady could not attend the Summit), Mr. Abdoulaye Balde, President of the Senegalese Mayors Association, Ms. Shirley Gibson, former Mayor of Miami Gardens and Mr. Aliou Sow, President of the Senegalese Youth Council In the Senegal structural unemployment they look into unemployment policies were they recommend tax reduction as an incentive to the private sector to encourage Youth entrepreneurship. They prep young people to work with community leaders in rural areas in the production of agriculture programs and have set aside 5 billion to Youth programs. Mrs. Dlodlo added that in South Africa, the National Youth Commission Act was put in place which is a Youth subsidy strategy to pave way to Youth training. President O.R Tambo stated that “a nation is fruitless if a nation engages on Youth issue but never invests in them.” so investing in our Youth is a solution. Ms. Gibson had stated that Mayors have a duty to play in their constituency and meeting the expectations of the people. As a former Mayor, government Ministers need to be transparent about their promises in what they are able to accomplish and what you are not able to accomplish.
Youth advisor to President of Cote d’Ivoire shared that the President in their country has taken the Youth issues at heart. Their country has invested in internship for the Youth by funding companies to implement internship programs. A challenge that they face is that the Youth that receive funds for programs have misused the funds. So it is important that the Youth learn to utilize funds properly.
6th Plenary Session
Concurrent Panel Discussions sessions In this session, the participants were divided into four groups and given different topics to discuss. The topics were:
-What constitutes effective prevention for young people today? -The development of mobile technology, an opportunity for African Youth. -Initiatives and best practices for young people using HIV/AIDS response as an entry point to accelerating the achievement of the MDGs. -Volunteering, a source of experience and employment opportunities for Youth.
Mr. Felix Haingura was selected to lead the topic on volunteering, in his contribution he spoke about National Youth Serves (NYS) Volunteering Programme. He spoke about how he is a volunteer at NYS. How it works is that a person is taken for a period of a year to train in general administration, after a year it gives weight to your CV and prepares you to professionalism. NYS takes all grades, 10 and 12 for training which has 4 steps in Civic Training and Military. He added to say that volunteerism should be served for free to different Ministries, NGO and Community development programs. He also spoke about Credit for Youth in Business (CYB) as one of the programme which empowers the young entrepreneurship to assist them with loans without collaterals: so far this programme has assisted a lot of young people in Namibia. His recommendation was to see all National Youth Council in African Countries to have such programs to assist young people. Tikhala Itaye participated in the 1st topic on AIDS prevention, which was presented by representatives from UNAIDS from South Africa, Mr. Paska Kunitha. He shared on the Crowds
out AIDS project which has created a movement of young people to take action against HIV/AIDS. It was recommended that we visit www.crowdoutaids.org to join the movement, and to get information on action plans and framework. Due to time constraints we did not receive feedback from their other discussions that took place. Furthermore, on the objectives of the MDGs and UN post-2015 Development Agenda, the experience of the Millennium Villages, a video conference was connected with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, founder of Millenium Villages Project, who stated that there is great potential in our communities that we need to tap into. He had highlighted that we should accelerate the progress that has been done towards the MDGs and that our visit to the millennium village should inspire us to do the same for our various countries.
7th Plenary Session
Detrimental Practices and the Development of Young People This session was presented by Nafissatou Diop, Senior Advisor at UNFPA in New York, Malick Sene, Executive Secretary at the High National Council on AIDS in Mali and Bidia Deperthes, Senior Technical Advisor on HIV under UNFPA. In this discussion it was highlighted that Youth should organize themselves to claim their rights. The Youth need to have vision and fight to implement their big ideas. As the Youth we vote in Heads of State so we have the power and it is the Youth who can push them on the missions they promised. Young people need to come up with initiatives that will enable the development of these countries. Traditional and culture has been a barrier to eradicate gender based violence. 100 to 140 million girls & women have been subjected to female genital Mutilation (FGM) a culture practice that affects many young girls. In Somalia almost all women are affected by FGM. This affects a women’s physical and mental well-being and causes social implication. With that in mind, women cannot participate in the economic, labour, social and political life because of debilitating health and social problems. A condomize campaign gave a presentation and they said, “the Youth should Keep their crown, cherish their life, love smart, play safe, stay alive and do anything in their power to remain HIV
free and avoid early parenting. “ It is important that the Youth are more educated on HIV and their health which could lead to making a better health decisions. It was also recommended that we visit www.allaboutcondoms.org to get more information about prevention and campaigns.
The 8th and 9th ‘Protect the goal’ campaign Plenary Sessions.
Young People at the Heart of the “Protect the Goal” Campaign and the Cultural Dimension In this session we had Mr. Jeffrey Webb, Vice-President of FIFA, Richard Grant, Steering Committee Member of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network and Actor and Mr. Benjamin Buyemere, ROJALNU focal point for West Africa. FIFA and UNAIDS have partnered under the Protect the Goal campaign in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This was an initiative to bring HIV awareness to those in the stadiums about the issue and a way to use sports to advocate for “Zero discrimination, Zero New infection and Zero AIDS related deaths.” This campaign will officially be launched in Brazil at the world cup. This is also a way to re-awake and re-engage the people, the Youth can take their idea in their countries and create a Protect the Goal documentary using local soccer teams and with dance and Art or playing games with children in rural areas in order to use it as a tool for community outreach and testing. Culture maybe an issue when it comes to Health services but culture was created by people so therefore it can change. Each country was awarded with a soccer ball to promote protect the ball campaign in their countries signed by the Vice-President of FIFA. Unfortunately we did not come with ours because the airport security stopped us from carrying a ball on the plane. After fighting for it to travel with us, we did not succeed and the ball remained behind.
The Millennium Village Visit
The Millennium Villages are designed to help rural African communities to achieve the MDGs. The projects functions on principalities such as to be in line with local and national development strategies and plans, to share the costs with the beneficiaries depending on their capacities to promote appropriation and scaling-up of the programs by the governments. There are several components that it focuses on: Agriculture/Agribusiness Education Health Gender and Community Development Infrastructures Environment Partnership Monitoring and Evaluation At the Millennium Village we visited the community centre, where we were informed that the centre is used to share information on health. They attract Youth to come to the centre by having entertainment or sport activities. In 2013 they tested 4000 in the community for HIV and they found that only 5 people tested positive. Other projects under the village is farming onions, groundnuts and peas, they also have milk production and fishing. They have established 10 schools in the community and have invested in community development, women empowerment and income-generating activities. It was stated that this project has achieved all the millennium goals in this community.
The 10th Plenary session : Closing Ceremony
The closing ceremony focused on the adoption of the general report on the Summit and the Dakar Declaration that is attached to this report. To end the Summit well, it was stated that, now is the time to all go home with more hope and focus.
Acknowledgements and closing remarks on the Summit.
We would like to thank UNFPA, UNAIDS and the National Youth Council for giving us this opportunity to learn, to gain information and obtain knowledge that will help us fulfil our vision under AfriYAN.
We would also like to Thank Dr. Djibril Diallo (in the picture on the left) for making this Summit possible.
The Summit was a great platform to network and to gain information. However, most of the sessions did not allow full participation of the Youth to express their views and to contribute: we hope that the next Summit the Youth leaders are given the platform to share ideas and to interact more.
The 4th PAN-AFRICAN SUMMIT OF YOUTH LEADERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
A CALL FOR ACTION FROM DAKAR
We young people, from 54 countries of Africa and the diaspora to the 4th Pan-african Summit of Young Leaders of the United Nations for the achievement of the MDGS, held in Dakar from 13 to January 17, 2014 on the theme "The youth unemployment in the agenda post 2015: Recognizing that Africa is replete with a very large proportion of young people without employment; and by lack of decent employment opportunities and many are victims of the worst forms of exploitation; • Considering the need to place the demographic dividend problem for young people is central to the economic development of our country • Recognizing that issues such as unemployment, underemployment, FGM to HIV and sexual and reproductive health problems are plaguing youth and whose solution requires a holistic approach; • Considering the relevance of initiatives and programs for youth development including: CrowdOutAIDS, ACT2015, CICPD Beyond 2014 Protect the Goal; • Considering that the Network Organizations Youth Leaders of the United Nations MDGs (ROJALNU) is a youth branch of the Network for African Renaissance and the Diaspora; • Supporting Co-sponsors of the 4th Pan-African Youth Summit Leaders of the United Nations, the presidents of Senegal Macky Sall and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali to bring these recommendations of the 4th Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit at United Nations meetings of Heads States of the African Union, the Francophonie Summit età Assembléee Géenéerale Desaux the United Nations; • Endorsing the statements from previous meetings of young leaders; Make the following recommendations: 1. The two formulation of specific objectives in the post 2015 development agenda of the United Nations, the first on youth empowerment and the second on sexual and reproductive health of young people and the elimination of HIV in the agenda post 2015 United Nations; 2. The inclusion of priority actions and recommendations from the summit when planning and budget allocations frameworks and development agenda of governments and cooperation
programs of international institutions including financial institutions, civil societies and private sector; 3. The effective implementation of the African Charter in cooperating the youth through national policies and programs; 4. Prioritise employment and sexual and reproductive health of young people in national plans and international development; 5. Implementation of mechanisms to provide adequate education system to the needs of the job; 6. Focus on technical and vocational training; 7. The maximise volunteer programs that promote youth creativity; 8. To increase incentives encouraging the private sector to invest more and create new employment and learning opportunities for young people ; 9. To support youth entrepreneurship; 10. To grant free access to quality primary schools for girls and boys and the promotion of continued studies to secondary and university for girls and women; 11. To strengthen policies and programs to prevent teenage pregnancy and young adolescents and the integration of comprehensive education on sexual and reproductive health and HIV in the school curricula; 12. To take into account of all young people without exclusion those from rural areas, the disabled, the minority groups and those from rural backgrounds as target groups in the policies and programs development; 13. Support the establishment of sustainable and effective partnership between young people and the African diaspora to promote decent work for youth; 14. The creation of national fund to fight against HIV / AIDS in all respective countries of Africa; 15. Creating a ROJALNU Special Fund for Employment and Entrepreneurship Young people; 16. Supporting national representations of ROJALNU in each country through technical and financial support;
We, the youth leaders of the United Nations; participants at the 4th Pan-African Youth Summit Leaders 13 to 17 January 2014 in Dakar, we are committed to: 1. Apply to ourselves the principle of accountability within the same limits as those in which we hold you responsible; 2. Being alongside Governments through a strong and active citizenship for the implementation of policies and strategies for the fight against unemployment and the promotion of sustainable development; 3. Contribute to the development of national economies and the challenge of development in our country; 4. Dakar will be the start of a series of consultations that will lead to the 2nd Global Young Leaders United Nations MDGs Summit in September 2015 including holding pre-Youth Summit World Summit in December 2014 in San Salvador de Bahia in Brazil; 5. Participate effectively and efficiently in the process of organizing the 4th World Summit of Mayors in Abidjan in September 2014 with the organization of a pre youth summit.
Made in Dakar , January 17, 2014. The Participants
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?