The Youth for Peace Africa (Y4P) programme of the African Union Commission (AUC) has validated the draft continental framework on youth and security.
This was harnessed in a workshop in Accra, Ghana from the discussions and input by representatives of youth from five regions of the continent working on peace and security of the regional economic communities and regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution (RECs/RMs) in Africa.
The programme seeks to promote the meaningful participation of youth in all spectrum of peace and security while engaging them as leaders, partners and implementers of peace initiatives.
In 2018, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) mandated the Y4P to conduct a study on the roles and contributions of youth to peace and security in Africa.
The major aim of the study was to highlight the roles and contributions of African youth in peace and security to inform strategic policy making and programming that will foster effective youth engagement and inclusion in the promotion of peace and security on the continent.
A workshop with youth representatives and researchers was held in December 2018 to define the most suited approach to be adopted for the study.
The workshop identified the need to organise regional consultations in each of the five regions of Africa, conduct field visit in three countries each from five regions including key criteria for selection, and identified thematic areas of focus to include conflict prevention, management and resolution; peace support operations; post-conflict reconstruction and development; and cross-cutting issues of gender, climate change and migration.
A statement by Lulit Kebede, communication officer of AU peace and security department, and Rhuk Ako, analyst of conflict prevention and early warning division (CPEWD) of the AUPSD, said the African youth charter adopted by the AU assembly in Banjul, Gambia, recognises the important role of youth in promoting peace and security in Africa.
“Greater participation by young people to peace and security is a fundamental requirement for the promotion of peace and security within the continent leading to the empowerment of youth in the decision making processes, “Ako said.
Also speaking, David Addy, head of programme, peace and security Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit African Union Office (GIZ-AU), said the meeting shows the commitment to protect the youth from effects of violent conflicts.
“This meeting is a testimony for joint commitment to protecting young people from the negative consequences of violent conflict, while searching to expand existing avenues for effective youth participation in national, regional and continental peace initiatives, “David said.
Representatives from the UN development programme office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OCHR) and training for peace (TfP), which supported the study also applauded the process leading to the validation.
They reiterated their commitment to support the programme via the promotion of youth centered conflict analysis and increasing youth contribution to decision making.