"Plan of action of youth decade (.doc)"
AFRICAN UNION UNION AFRICAINE UNIÃO AFRICANA Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P. O. Box 3243 Telephone: 5517 700 Fax: 5511299 Website: www. africa-union.org DIVISION OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION PRESS RELEASE No. No 58/2010 MINISTERIAL MEETING ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CLOSES WITH ADOPTION OF PLAN OF ACTION OF YOUTH DECADE, DECLARATION AND RESOLUTIONS ON THE WAY FORWARD Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 16 April 2010- African Ministers in charge of youth concluded their two-day third ordinary session in Victoria Falls on April 16th. During the course of their meeting, the Ministers adopted the proposed plan of action for the Decade for Youth Development 2009-2018, a resolution on the International Year of Youth and a Declaration of their third Conference of Ministers of Youth (COMY III) urging all the stakeholders for more commitment and actions. They confirmed the composition of the COMY III Bureau as such: Rwanda- Chairperson-Eastern Africa; Cameroon-1ST Vice Chairperson-Central Africa; Burkina Faso- 2nd Vice Chairperson- West Africa; Botswana- 3rd Vice Chairperson- Southern Africa; Algeria- Rapporteur- North Africa. They also agreed that their next meeting will be held in Rwanda. The plan of action, the resolution and the declaration are all in pursuance of achieving the vision of the African Union i.e. that of an Africa integrated, prosperous and peaceful, and whose success is driven by its own citizens. The African Union views the youth as the “engine for Africa’s development”, as opportunity for sustainable development of the continent, not as a burden. This is because in 2025, the young people of today will be the main drivers of African economies, for a number of reasons, among which are that: numerically the youth form a large part of Africa’s population i.e. 34.3% of the population of Sub Saharan Africa in 2007; the young people of today are the best educated in human history; and gender gaps are steadily closing. The social advantages provided by the youth include greater degree of mobility, versatility, dynamism and adaptability. Youth are also known to be more creative and innovative than adult populations, and take the lead in several areas of development, such as in community development, volunteer work, IT, HIV/AIDS, life skills, education and campaigns. Of importance in the Declaration adopted by the Ministers is the call for Member States to harmonise their national youth programme and projects with the Plan of Action for the Decade of African Youth. Doing so will provide uniform targets on youth development which will assist Member States to use research as the basis for youth development programming and planning. The Declaration also reinforces the African Union’s call for Member States to ratify the African Youth Charter; and to pursue efforts to popularize, ratify and monitor implementation of the Charter. In the Declaration, the Ministers expressed their support and encouragement for initiatives and actions undertaken by the civil society, youth associative movements, NGOs and the private sector to enhance and speed up youth development initiatives. They also renewed their commitment to allocate adequate resource to implement the Plan of Action for the Decade of Youth Development (2009-2018) and empowerment to achieve the objectives set for African Youth and to facilitate the implementation of all initiatives relevant to the visibility and active participation of the youth in Africa. The resolution on the other hand calls on the Technical Secretariat of COMY III to place youth activities planned or organised from 12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011 under the banner of the International Year of Youth. It invites Member States to organise events and activities to celebrate the International Year of Youth, and urges them to make voluntary contributions to support all activities linked to the International Year of Youth, including the World Youth Conference to be held in Mexico in August this year and the UN International Conference for Youth planned for 2011. The closing ceremony of the Ministerial conference was addressed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe Honourable Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, who noted that the youth represent Africa’s greatest natural resource. He also further said that the continent’s leadership has an enormous responsibility to ensure that the youth are given every necessary opportunity so that they can lead Africa’s journey into a new era. This includes giving them appropriate education, support to start their own businesses or to have access to jobs that pay decent wages. He particularly emphasized the fact that Africa needs to set programmes to ensure young people studying abroad come back to the continent and utilize the knowledge and innovation they will have acquired to develop Africa. The Prime Minister also acknowledged the challenges being faced by the young people of today, such as discrimination, inequality of opportunities, unemployment, lack of youth policies, and non involvement in decision making process and said they need assistance and guidance as leaders of tomorrow. Further media enquiries on the third Conference of Ministers of Youth (COMY III) may be directed to Wynne Musabayana on +251 911 101466