About African Union Commission 2016 Africa Youth Day
The African Youth Day takes place every 1st November, it was proclaimed and instituted on the occasion of the African Youth Charter adoption in the Executive Council Decision of the Banjul Summit in 2006 DOC.EX.CL/292 (IX).
The purpose of this event is to promote an increased recognition of youth as key agents for social change and economic growth in all aspects of the African society, to contribute and channel the youth motivation, energy and idealism, and to reinforce the efforts towards the achievement of a sustainable development in the Africa.
The celebration is underpinned by the following principles:
- Shared values of an integrated and peaceful continent based on pan-African values;
- Celebrating young people’s contributions and achievements as agents of change at the community level and their capacity to engage with other people in development issues;
- Inclusion of young people in decision-making and planning processes at all levels;
- Encouraging youth to play a stronger role in programme development and implementation to empower their communities.
2016 Celebrations and the Demographic Dividend
The 2016 Africa Youth Day theme is “Promoting youth mainstreaming as a catalyst towards harnessing the Demographic Dividend.” The theme will be pinned towards the youth mainstreaming initiative of the African Union Commission as well as the commencement of deliberations around the African Union 2017 theme of the year.
In order to deliver on this important assignment, the youth have to take charge and play an important role in the development sphere. Investments made today in the youth, who represent Africa’s greatest asset, will determine the development trajectory of Africa over the next fifty (50) years and position the continent towards realizing the “Africa We Want”, a strong, united and influential global player and partner as envisioned in Agenda 2063.
The African Union has embarked on youth mainstreaming as a priority in all their activities. Mainstreaming the participation of women and youth is also one of the key priorities of the AUC’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2017. The proposed youth development framework elements for mainstreaming will be geared towards, policies, programs, people (youth and youth development practitioners) as well as institutions. In a bid to ensure that the youth mainstreaming becomes a continent -wide initiative, the AUC will mark Africa Youth Day by launching the Youth Mainstreaming Guideline.
Accordingly, the 2017 theme of the year, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in the youth,” can only be strengthened and accelerated by promoting youth as key actors in the field.
The demographic dividend can be defined as the benefit that can arise when a country has a relatively large proportion of working-age population due to declining fertility, and effectively invests in their health, empowerment, education and employment through public action and private sector involvement. The central importance of the demographic dividend to Africa’s transformative development has been repeatedly acknowledged by African leaders at the highest level and in key ministerial platforms. Over the last ten years, it has become evident that a demographic dividend lens offers a strategic basis for focusing and prioritizing investments in people in general and youth in particular, in order to achieve sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and to build “an
integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”
As emphasised during the TICAD VI forum, the demographic dividend can be powerful, if it can unleash a generation of well-educated, skilled and productive workforce. Youth must enhance and exercise their civic rights, and showcase their impact in the realization of this very important theme of the year and beyond.
This year, the African Union Commission is calling on the youth of the continent to commemorate this day under the above mentioned theme. In a bid to ensure that African youth continue to strive for ownership in Africa’s development, the AUC is encouraging young people to host activities in their communities and share these activities with us to document and where possible upscale.
The main objective of the occasion is to launch the Youth Mainstreaming Guideline and to promote the importance of youth as leaders in reaping the demographic transition.
Specifically the occasion will
- Promote the youth mainstreaming in all development activities;
- Increase awareness, commitment and investment in youth;
- Strengthen youth participation and partnerships;
- Increase intercultural exchanges and understanding among youth;
- Sensitise state actors, private sector players and development partners on the need to accelerate the youth agenda, with youth, under the four key pillars of the Demographic Dividend Road-map: 1.) Employment and Entrepreneurship, 2.) Education and Skills Development, 3.) Health and Wellbeing, and 4.) Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.
- Launched AUC Youth Mainstreaming Guideline
- Showcasing of youth talents and what youth are doing in their spaces as well as peer-to-peer learning; and
- Renewed commitment or interest’ in our work towards youth development on the
- The AUC will be taking a decentralised approach and encouraging youth to celebrate this day with activities organised in their spaces;
- Member States are encouraged to share country level events with us to document and upscale where possible to a continental audience;
- At the Continental level – the AUC will use the opportunity to launch the AUC Youth Mainstreaming Guideline as a commitment to “accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development in Africa,” as mandated by the Summit Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.363 (XVII);
- Call for submission of work around the theme (submit either an abstract/write-up etc. of what you are doing in your respective communities as outlined in the call). Screening and selection of participants who will be invited to the January Summit during the official opening of the 2017 AU theme of the year;
- Social media campaign: Info graphic on Africa Youth Day celebrations across the continent to be displayed – mapping out all the different activities planned for the day;
- Twitter and Facebook campaigns on youth mainstreaming in achieving development goals.
Who Should Celebrate the Africa Youth Day
- Member States, African youth on the continent and in the Diaspora, AU Ministers and Senior Officials of Youth, Sports and Culture, UN Agencies and Development Partners, Youth led and Youth Serving organisations Youth across the continent are encouraged to commemorate this day by replicating the continental celebrations in their respective countries and sharing the outcomes with the AUC for compilation and documentation.
This is a call for submission in the form of an abstract/write-up, artistic impression, video, blog around
the following four thematic pillars of the demographic dividend road-map:
- Pillar 1: Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Pillar 2: Education and Skills Development
- Pillar 3: Health and Wellbeing
- Pillar 4: Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment
Selected entries will be invited to partake in the 2017 January Heads of States Summit. Female applicants are
highly encouraged to apply.
Write-ups should be no more than 1000 words. Support your work by sending us further evidence such
as pictures and/or videos and nomination/recommendation letters. . Kindly note that only high resolution
photos and videos will be accepted. Send us links to big files (Videos/photos/blogs etc.)
Include the following information as part of your submission: Name of your project or your organisation
and country or region your work affect, your age and sex
Send your entries directly to: email@example.com with the “AU Youth Day 2016” in the subject line.
The deadline for submissions is 25 October, 2015
The AUC further encourages young people and youth organisation across the continent to host activities in
their communities and share these events with us to document and upscale where possible to a continental
audience. Such activities may include engaging in dialogues on youth participation in decision making
processes, showcasing talents among others. This is in a bid to ensure that African youth are at the forefront
and continue to strive for their ownership in Africa’s development agenda.
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