The APRM held its first International Youth Symposium on 1-2 July 2019, in N’djamena, Chad, under the theme “The Youth as APRM driving force for good governance in Africa”, held under the patronage of His Excellency Idriss Deby Itno.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) which was created on 9 March 2003 is a mutually accepted self-assessment instrument of good governance to which African Union (AU) Member States voluntarily accede. Its fundamental objective is to encourage the adoption of policies, standards and practices that promote political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and subregional and continental economic integration. At present, the Mechanism boasts of 38 African Union member states.
As a first engagement with APRM, the AU Youth Envoy, Ms Aya Chebbi, joined the opening and delivered a statement emphasizing the need for a collaborative effort among generations.
“Governments alone cannot fix Africa’s 21st-century challenges and youth cannot take the torch passed down and be expected to do some magic and solve all the issues. We must work together, co-create the solutions with civil society and other stakeholders and put youth especially young women at the center of these conversations.”
– Aya Chebbi
She further spoke to young people on how important it is to be proactive and take responsibility for delivering honest governance in their various countries. She closed by re-emphasizing the commitment of the African Union to amplify youth voices on the issues that affect them.
“I am here to emphasize my commitment to work closely with all of you in amplifying your radical political voice and initiatives, and supporting your activism and advocate for the implementation of policies that impact the livelihoods of youth on the continent, also committed also to work closing with APRM on youth engagement for measuring governance and support the African Union Commission work on youth with sufficient data and a robust reporting mechanism.”
You can read the full statement of the AU Youth Envoy here
The opening ceremony also featured speeches from Prof Eddy Maloka – CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari – Chairperson APR Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon. Khayar Oumar Defallah -Minister of APRM, Republic of Chad – Chairperson of the APRM Committee of Focal Points, as well as the President of Chad, H.E Idriss Deby Itno.
“It is worth recognising that African leaders and continental institutions are increasingly recognising the importance of placing the youth at the centre of all governance and development interventions.”
-Prof. Ibrahim Gambari
“African Youth are a solution, not a problem. It is against this backdrop that the APRM has arranged this meeting to challenge young people to join the APRM train.”
-Prof Eddy Maloka
“No country will make progress without the participation of women. You the youth should also emphasize that.”
-Hon Khayar Oumar Defallah
“The vitality of our democracies needs the active participation of the youth in all aspects including peace and development.”
-H.E Idriss Deby Itno
Despite the Envoy’s very short visit to N’Djamena, she had great conversations with youth following the opening which led to the establishment of the Chad Youth Taskforce to engage and support Chadian youth in the African Union work and agreed on a follow up engagement.
This symposium featured two days of discussions on youth engagement in governance, as well as inter-generational dialogues between the government and young people from different parts of the continent. They shared insights and possible solutions from their personal experiences on the ground.
The Africa Governance Report was also launched on the first day of the symposium. This report examines efforts to improve the governance of Africa’s abundant natural resources, with particular emphasis on strengthening natural resource governance institutions and frameworks to enhance domestic revenue mobilization in order to foster economic diversification and structural transformation in Africa.
The second day featured more panels and discussions, as well as the launch of the APRM Chad Youth Network as a follow up on all the action points of the various deliberations. The event came to a close on the 2nd of July with addresses from Prof. Maloka, Ambassador Salah Hammad, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Hon. Khayar Oumar Defallah.
Much gratitude to the steering committee for the symposium and the APRM governing council for putting together an impactful event, as well as the government of Chad for their wonderful hospitality. To the delegates, speakers and panelists, thank you for pushing the barriers in your various fields and making sure your voices are heard. We will continue to strive to make steps towards the Africa that we want and serve your interest at the AUC.
You may view the media coverage of the event here.