COVID-19: AU Youth Envoy launches continental youth-led accountability initiative

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The African Union Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE), this week, launched the African Youth Charter Hustlers initiative, a youth-led Pan-African accountability movement, to engage African youths in continental, regional and country-level advocacy for the reform of service delivery architecture across the continent as well as ratification and implementation of the African Youth Charter (AYC), amongst other progressive youth policies.

 

Aya Chebbi, the first-ever African Union Youth Envoy

 

The AYC is “a political and legal document which serves as the strategic framework that gives direction for youth empowerment and development at continental, regional and national levels. It aims to “strengthen, reinforce and consolidate efforts to empower young people through meaningful youth participation and equal partnership in driving Africa’s development agenda.”

Moreover, AYC Hustlers initiative is aimed at putting young people at the centre of Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Amidst the pandemic, the African Union Commission had said it remained “committed to advocating for the contribution of young people in the reform of African institutions.” Article 16 of the African Youth Charter guarantees the right of African youth to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health as well as the institution of programmes aimed at addressing health pandemics in Africa.

As mandated by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E, Moussa Faki, AU Youth Envoy Aya Chebbi, the first-ever AU Youth Envoy,  had launched her game-changer 2019/2020 Action Plan outlining four Models of Action i.e Innovation, Advocacy, Intergenerational and Policy as well as Communication. The AYC Hustlers initiative is in line with the AUC’s 1 Million by 2021 Initiative, which seeks to provide opportunities for African youth in the areas of Employment, Education, Entrepreneurship and Engagement (4Es).

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“The African Youth Charter Hustlers initiative provides an opportunity, in these challenging times, for youth-led advocacy, youth-led accountability and agency to ensure results on continental commitments. African youth must play a central role to transform our systems to work for our generation including the health systems that can prevent and respond to COVID-19 and other pandemics,” Youth Envoy Chebbi was quoted to have said, in a press statement.

Chebbi, the youngest senior official in the history of the AU cum youngest diplomat in the AUC chairperson’s cabinet, is mandated to serve as representative of and advocate for the voices and interests of African youths to the relevant African Union decision-making bodies. Since her appointment in November 2018, Tunisian-born Chebbi has led the AU’s engagement with African youths on the continent and in the diaspora, to draw them towards supporting and promoting positive social change, intergenerational dialogue and concrete action for Africa’s development as underscored in Agenda 2063.

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The initiative, which seeks to engage two mobilizers each from the 55 AU Member States (one male and one female) for a period of two years to “hustle” for the AYC’s implementation, is a flagship programme of the AU Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE), in partnership with the Youth Division of the AU Commission’s Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), and in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

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