What is The International Youth Assembly in Africa?
This is the first of the annual series of assembly of youths in Africa bringing together some of the most accomplished young men and women drawn from a wide cross-section of geographies, themes, disciplines, cultures and political persuasions around the world and first rate speakers to dialogue, share perspectives and experiences on a broad variety of policy issues. The Assembly serves as a consultation among youths and experts to identify youth concerns and recommendations for governments, UN agencies and youth organizations on these matters. It will further provides space for youths and other stakeholders to concert and develop activities and mechanisms through which youth can directly engage in national, continental and global governance and decision-making activities necessary for strengthening democratic citizenship and ensuring effective youth participation. The International Youth Assembly in Africa is premised on the understanding that the Youth are the foundation and pillars of more democratic and sustainable development pathways and represent both present and future leadership with an abiding interest.
Why The International Youth Assembly in Africa?
The Assembly offers perfect opportunity for promotion of south-south learning and exchanges on the participation of young women and men in political, civic, economic and social process. This will catalyze the emergence of an inter-continental youth partnership for democratic governance and sustainable human development. The Assembly will seek to build innovative partnership with governments, youth-led organizations and UN Agencies; youth led organizations, governments, foundations and private sector to promote youth leadership and space to explore the interface between democratic governance and sustainable human developments at the national, continental and international levels. The various sessions in the Assembly will seek to get the perspectives and proposals from young people on post-2015(MDGs deadline) development landscape. It will pay particular attention to obstacles, opportunities and enablers of youth participation and leadership for agenda-setting in these areas. In addition, it will seek to inform policy reforms at the continental, regional and national levels. The Assembly outcome will be a statement reflecting collective youth positions on issues covered by the agenda. The outcome statement will constitute an advocacy platform for future and consolidate a strategic engagement module on these issues and focus on Inter-generational dialogue.
Theme: Unleashing Youth Potential in participatory development
Today, there are more people under the age of 25 than ever standing at 1.3 billion. 17% of this (second largest after Asia) live in Africa. This demographic youth bulge provides a unique window of opportunity in which youth continentally can play a more determinative role through engagement in creating a more sustainable, just and equitable and democratic continent within and outside the governmental architecture.
The majority of African youth and around the world are eager to contribute meaningfully to development process and be constructively engaged in their societies. The structural weaknesses in political and economic governance systems and processes across the continent have until now severely constrained youth leadership and participation in the governance and development processes at the local, national, continental and international levels. This exclusion of youth from major International, continental and national democratic processes is an obstacle to fully harnessing the capacities and potential of young people as peace builders and agents of positive change. Changing this situation requires commitment by all stakeholders, leadership and the direct agency of young people in crafting the desired change to a more inclusive order. Central to this are programmes, policies and legislation that recognize the role and contribution of youth to sustainable development, democratic governance, continent-wide peace, environmental sustainability and inclusive economic growth hence The International Youth Assembly in Africa.
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Organiser: The International Youth Council Kenya Chapter (Host)