SA to host 6th AU youth dialogue

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Over 350 youth leaders from across the continent will next week convene in Tshwane to discuss how the African Union (AU) could better engage young people in the political process and create opportunities for them while supporting the efforts to promote democracy.

The youth, who will be joined by some Heads of State, will gather for the 6th AU’s High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance banner from 6 - 8 December 2017 at  Menlyn Maine. 

The annual meeting’s theme, “Silencing the Guns: African Youth Building a Culture of Democracy and Peace in Africa”, is important as Africa is the ‘youngest’ continent, with the majority of people under 35 years of age.

The consultation is part of the AU’s ongoing efforts to incorporate youth voices into discussions on democracy and peacebuilding.

“The Sixth High-Level Dialogue will provide a frank, open and inclusive space for policymakers and practitioners to interrogate policy and practice imperatives for enhancing meaningful youth participation and representation in governance.

“Specifically, the dialogue will focus on youth participation and representation in political, economic, social as well as peace and security spheres as provided for in the African Youth Charter,” the African Union Commission said on Wednesday.

The AU anticipates that the conversations at the dialogue will contribute to the strategic and programmatic interventions aimed at facilitating the realisation of all the seven aspirations of the Agenda 2063 – Africa’s Development blueprint.

Ultimately, the dialogue will contribute to the realization of Aspiration 6, which envisions “an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth and with well cared for children”.

The dialogue will be officially opened by President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday. Former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Central African Republic’s Catherine Samba-Panza, as well as Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, Minata Samate Cessouma, and selected youth participants from across the continent will attend the event. - SAnews.gov.za

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