African Youths demands at the 2nd African Youth SDGs Summit
Over 1,200 youths across Africa gathered at Accra International Conference Center, Ghana from the 7th to the 9th November 2018 for the 2nd edition of the African Youth SDGs Summit. The summit is a gathering of young changemakers across Africa where discussions, deliberations and feasible solutions were preferred to facilitate successful implementation plans and accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union 2063 Agenda in Africa. African youth across over 36 countries lend their unified voice youth inclusion.
“77 percent of Africans are younger than 35, but they are the least represented. Those 77 percent could shape the continent’s future.”
This calls for more concern to create a platform that will make youth efficient and productive to national development. This cuts across youth inclusion in governance, policy formulation, finance, health, education and other sectors of the community.
During a Parallel Session and Panel discussion organised at the summit by Restless Development and Norwegian Church Aid, participating youths discussed youth exclusion in policy formulation and implementation as well as inadequate access to information among many others. Most importantly as it concerns in making the world a better place for all, the young people involved reiterated that they are not included in SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda planning and implementation in their various countries.
This generated a blueprint developed by vibrant African youths at the summit. The blueprint circumspectly spells out the challenges faced by African Youths in SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda planning and implementation. The blueprint also states feasible solutions to these challenges.
The African continent is blessed with young vibrant individuals who are passionate about making ‘Mother Africa’ great. SDGs and the AU 2063 Agenda cannot be achieved if they are not owned or understood by young people.
Therefore, African youths must be educated about the SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda as the right holder. Equally, government officials must understand that young people must be given a seat at the decision-making table. This process will ensure that there are synergies between young people and the government. Implementation of the SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda must be a key performance area for government leadership and must be incentive oriented.
By: Damilare Oyedele, Co-Founder & Chief Executive: Library and You – Nigeria
Boitumelo Zwane, Commission for Gender Equality – South Africa