Featured - News - July 6, 2022

3rd APRM youth symposium underway in Kampala

The Ugandan Government is hosting the third youth symposium of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), under the theme ‘Repositioning the Youth Agenda for a Transformative Continent,’ in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

 

President Yoweri Museveni keynoting the 3rd APRM youth symposium during the opening ceremony Tuesday in Kampala, Uganda

 

By Stephen Enoch

The symposium which is being held July 4th – 9th has in attendance delegates representing diverse groups, namely government, civil society, the private sector as well as youth parliamentarians, from across the 55 Member States of the African Union, who are utilizing the opportunity to network and share ideas on issues imperative to the empowerment of the African youth.

President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, while giving the keynote address at the symposium, urged African youths to get acquainted with the idea of market integration and shun the continent’s persistent dependency syndrome by producing goods and services which will not only be viable for intra-African export but could also be exported to other parts of the world.

President Museveni admonished the youth to imbibe the spirit of Pan Africanism, which he described as the only pathway for the youth to contribute to the creation of prosperity and stability and end the security challenges ravaging parts of the continent. “If African problems must be solved, there has to be political unity and for prosperity and strategic security, patriotism, Pan Africanism, social-economic transformation and democracy must be prioritized,” he stressed.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the AU Commission (represented) in his remarks said it was imperative that the voices of young people were heard and they were included in issues relating to them, pointing out the need for capacity building, and skills development as well as knowledge transfer among African youth.

He stressed the importance of improved financing for youth-own startups and enterprises. “Budgetary reforms should be continuous and key decision-makers such as the international community, regional organizations and others need to advocate for practical budgeting processes that meet the needs of youths and ensure adequate funding for youth enterprises.”

Mr Mahamat reiterated the need for social inclusion in Africa’s approach to youth development. “We must not forget about the young people in marginalized communities as well as youths with disabilities and ensure that as we speak about Africa’s solutions for young people, we are indeed leaving no one behind.”

While welcoming delegates to the symposium, Prof Eddy Maloka, CEO of the APRM continental secretariat, said youth mainstreaming in Africa’s democratic governance processes would allow young people the opportunity to bring their exuberance to bear in the processes. To this end, he said young people occupy an important place in APRM’s philosophy, methodology and processes.

“At the APRM continental secretariat, we work with the support of our member states to empower youths and bring them to the decision-making table. We want to ensure that our youths are present and active in APRM reviews and their issues receive the attention they deserve in our review reports and recommendations. It is for this reason that many of our national structures across the continent have youth desks and our reviews focus on youths as a constituency.

“The continental secretariat has set up a youth desk in an effort to bridge the gap in youth participation in country reviews and programs. This is still a work in progress and we are hopeful that by next year, the youth desk will be fully operational, as we will continue to give support to the youth desk to organize this annual event,” Prof Maloka concluded.

The APRM is an African governance self-monitoring mechanism willingly acceded to by AU member states whose objective is enhancing governance dynamics at national and continental levels. The Mechanism hosts the annual youth symposium as a means of involving African youth in conversations on good governance, best practices and peer learning. The first and second symposiums were held in Chad (2019) and Kenya (2021).

“At the APRM continental secretariat, we work with the support of our member states to empower youths and bring them to the decision-making table. We want to ensure that our youths are present and active in APRM reviews and their issues receive the attention they deserve in our review reports and recommendations. It is for this reason that many of our national structures across the continent have youth desks and our reviews focus on youths as a constituency.

“The continental secretariat has set up a youth desk in an effort to bridge the gap in youth participation in country reviews and programs. This is still a work in progress and we are hopeful that by next year, the youth desk will be fully operational, as we will continue to give support to the youth desk to organize this annual event,” Prof Maloka concluded.

The APRM is an African governance self-monitoring mechanism willingly acceded to by AU member states whose objective is enhancing governance dynamics at national and continental levels. The Mechanism hosts the annual youth symposium as a means of involving African youth in conversations on good governance, best practices and peer learning. The first and second symposiums were held in Chad (2019) and Kenya (2021).

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