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Youth social and economic challenges was top of the agenda at the 1st Southern Africa Pan-African Youth Union meeting
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) hosted the first ever PYU meeting from 16 – 17 November 2009. The meeting attended by close to 80 delegates representing 9 African countries discussed a number of social and economic issues including education, skills development, youth employment, entrepreneurial development, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The meeting was convened to develop a regional plan for the implementation of the African Youth Charter, to discuss ways of strengthening the SADC Youth Union and to discuss a ten year plan developed by the PYU in collaboration with the African Union (AU) Commission.
One of the key issues that dominated the discussions was the need for African youth to actively participate in the economic mainstream. It must be reaffirmed that Southern Africa’s mineral resources belong to Southern Africa and in Africa and there should be a campaign against imperialism in order to prevent the economic colonisation of Africa. The delegates further called on African countries to set aside not less than 10% of their annual budgets for youth development.
Delegates expressed their appreciation of the decision by African Heads of States and Governments to declare the years 2009 – 2018 as “The Decade of Youth Development”. They called on the AU to ensure greater leadership and participation of young people within its programmes and processes, particularly the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC). They further praised the seventeen countries that have to date ratified the African Youth Charter, four of which are from the Southern African Region. The African Youth Charter (AYC) creates a legally binding framework for governments to develop supportive policies and programmes for young people. The charter speaks to programmes that alleviate poverty amongst young people, access to compulsory and quality education, ensuring full economic participation and building sustainable livelihoods for all young people.
The meeting unanimously agreed that youth challenges must be driven by all relevant stakeholders.
Some of the resolutions of the meeting include:
- A continental trust fund needs to be established and the AU must be lobbied to provide a budget for this trust
- There needs to be Youth Studies in higher education institutions
- Youth development must be institutionalised in all government institutions, the private sector and civil society
On Regional and International Solidarity the delegates resolved that:
- A hand of solidarity must be extended to the people of Western Sahara as they remain the only colony in Africa. The pressure campaign must continue in order to ensure the speedy withdrawal of Morocco’s occupation and the release of the Group of Seven from Western Sahara.
- The PYU unequivocally supports the AU program on Africanism and the central role played by former President Thabo Mbeki on the unification of Africa and African Renaissance, leaving no room for Western forces to prosecute African Leadership particularly former President Mbeki.
- The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must be lifted as they weigh heavily on the people of Zimbabwe especially young people and prevent their full and effective participation as citizens.
On HIV/AIDS the delegates affirmed that prevention of HIV must be the entry point for all interventions; there should be continuous awareness programmes targeted at young people encouraging the usage of condoms and applying other prevention measures. The PYU which Executive Chairperson of the NYDA Andile Lungisa is also the Deputy President, is an all Africa youth organisation representing youth formations in the African continent.
For more information contact:
National Youth Development Agency
083 686 9016
National Youth Development Agency
011 651 7175 / 084 308 5860