Acting executive chairperson of African Youth Commission (AYC) Sunday morning arrived in The Gambia for a five-day engagement with authorities and youth leaders ahead of Gambia’s hosting of the 3rd Africa Youth Conference on African Unity and development in March, next year.
Natalie Sonia Mukundane was received at the airport by the AYC executive secretary, Kawsu Sillah of The Gambia.
Ms. Mukundane is in the country to meet stakeholders to discuss possible partnership and support for Gambia’s successful hosting of the conference.
“I expect to meet with stakeholders who believe that youth have spaces to occupy in politics and other areas to realise the Africa we want,” Ms. Mukundane told our reporter shortly after her arrival at the airport.
The overall objective of the 2019 3rd Africa Youth Conference is to create a youth-led open space for young people to promote Pan Africanism, participate in the implementation of African Unity project, take ownership and drive the Africa’s development Agenda. It also targets to inspire and encourage active youth leadership and participation in social, economic and political life at all levels.
Ms. Mukundane said her purpose of coming to Gambia is to discuss with authorities to have as much partners as possible for the conference. “This is a good opportunity for The Gambia to host the conference.”
The discussion at the conference will be centered on thematic areas aligned to the AYC Strategic Plan 2018-2020 and The Gambia Country Programme of Action on Youth including Pan Africanism and African Integration, Governance and Empowerment (Youth Political/Civic Leadership and Participation; Youth Economic Empowerment) and Youth and Peacebuilding.
The Uganda-born Kenya-based said 70% of Africa’s population is youth, calling on the continent’s governments to invest in young people for a prosperous future. “Young people have to take leadership positions.”
Today, from East to West and South to North, Africa is gripped with massive exodus of young people to Europe and elsewhere in the world through the high seas in search for greener pasture. This is retarding the development of African countries and the continent in general.
During the March conference, partner youth organisations and youth development actors will organise side event workshops in alignment with their programmatic area of interest and conference themes during the forum.
National Youth Council chairman, Dembo Kambi said, “We hope that Ms. Mukundane’s coming to The Gambia will serve as an inspiration to our young people, particularly women.”
He said this is something that NYC is ready to work with stakeholders to ensure that the next year conference is successfully hosted.
The African Youth Commission (AYC) is an independent Pan-African youth network founded by youth leaders to foster synergy amongst youth and youth organisations on the continent and Diaspora.
Officially inaugurated on January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the network is determined and committed to provide a space and voice for youth and youth organisations to set and drive their own agenda, promote the involvement of young people as key partners in the implementation of the Africa 2063 Agenda as well the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, support advocacy actions on the ratification and implementation of the African Youth Charter, other youth rights-based legal instruments and contribute to advancing the AU Shared Values through a network of locally based youth actors.