African Union Commission Holds Youth Mainstreaming Workshop
The Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), through the division in charge of Youth Development, conducted a three-day workshop on youth mainstreaming and the demographic dividend. The workshop was held from 7-9 November 2016 in Mombasa, Kenya.
This workshop was based on the AU mandate to implement the January 2016 Summit Assembly decision on Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development in Africa and a focus on "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth," in 2017. The workshop comes six days after H.E. the Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma launched the AUC Youth Mainstreaming Guideline.
The AUC Youth Mainstreaming initiative aims to fast-track the on-going youth activities at the Commission in a strategic and coordinated mode, as a path to realizing the 6th Aspiration of Agenda 2063.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, Head of the Youth Division, highlighted that the three-day departmental training would focus on collectively discussing how the AUC will position itself to coordinate youth mainstreaming to leverage resources and respond to the call on Youth investments
Participants exchanged views and reflected on ways to coordinate efforts, bolster interdepartmental collaboration and accelerate youth programs and policies in the Commission in order to fully implement the youth mainstreaming framework that was launched by H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson during the Africa Youth Day on 1st November, 2016 on behalf of H.E. the AUC Chairperson.
The African Youth Decade Plan of Action calls for a continental youth mainstreaming agenda as part of development objectives, and for the development of programmes for youth empowerment. Mainstreaming the participation of youth and women in Africa's development is considered to be an essential part in delivering the rapid, but balanced, economic and social development of Africa.
Mainstreaming is particularly pertinent within the context of Africa’s youth bulge, which affords African nations tremendous opportunity, because youth bubbles can be correlated with strong economic growth. Investments in young people to participate in economic, social and political life provides an opportunity to yield this demographic dividend.