Virtual AU Youth Consultations Series 

on African Youth Collective Response to COVID-19

Join Youth-Led Movement to Combat Coronavirus

On 22 February 2020, African Union Ministers of Health and Heads of Delegation gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for an emergency meeting on the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The African Continental Strategic Plan for COVID-19 PANDEMIC has been adopted with the establishment of the Africa Taskforce for Novel Coronavirus (AFTCOR), which is a continental platform to better coordinate our efforts across Africa.  

AFCOR is divided into six Working Groups that regularly report to the Steering Committee chaired by the Director of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).   

Between 23 March and 3rd April 2020, the Office of the Youth Envoy convened in collaboration with Africa CDC 10 Virtual AU Youth Consultations Series on COVID-19 for a Collective Youth Response with over 170 youth leaders from over 40 African countries.   

The African continent’s demographic structure is different from other regions in the world. The median age of the 1.3 billion population in Africa is 19.7 years. By contrast, the median age in China is: 38.4 years, and the median age in the European Union is: 43.1 years. Although Africa’s youth may be considered a significant protective factor in the pandemic, how the virus will evolve and manifest itself on the continent remains unknown. The evident is that the socio-economic impact will affect primarily African Youth who already struggle with high rates of unemployment.

The following challenges have been identified by young people during consultations;  

  • Lack of effective and innovative communication to reach African youth in the communities who are either in denial of or fear from the virus 
  • Lack of timely dissemination of credible information to raise awareness (especially for youth in rural areas, settlements, marginalized communities,etc) 
  • Lack of youth engagement to play a role to prevent the spread of the virus and contribute to the response to the global challenge 
  • Lack of engagement of young professionals in the scientific conversation and resource mobilization to contain the virus (Test kits, hygiene, etc.) 
  • Socio-Economic impact on youth (unemployment, food insecurity etc.)
  • Inform & innovate with Africa CDC regular continental briefings 
  • Amplify youth-led initiatives, best practices and actions on the frontline 
  • Unite Youth Collective Response, Power and Solidarity  
  1. Convener: Facilitate inclusive, accessible and empowering digital spaces for youth (including marginalized youth and young women) to meaningfully engage in the response to the pandemic.
  2. Action Catalyzer: Advocate for the implementation of progressive policies and impactful effective actions to address the emergency and post-Coronavirus systemes change especially the implementation of the African Youth Charter
  3. Amplifier: Amplify youth-led accountability, agency and participation across the continent as well as the voices, stories and experiences of the most marginalized and underrepresented youth
  4. Bridge Builder: Bring youth closer to the African Union by closing the information gap and ensuring youth participation through Intergenerational Dialogues and Co-Leadership
  5. Pan-African Mobilizer: Mobilize and unite youth for Pan-African action and strengthen exchange, collaboration and cross-border engagement among youth organizations in order to build youth solidarity, political consciousness, democratic participation, and civic engagement 
  • How can we strengthen innovative communication tools between institutions and the local community both online and offline ? 
  • How can we mobilize and organize the youth and the non-governmental actors to play a key role in prevention, response and transformation of the crisis?
  • What are the best practices and learnings we can share from countries and other viruses (Ebola, HIV etc.) ? 

Virtual AU Youth Consultations Series on COVID-19 are led by the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy. The consultations start with briefings on country situations followed by brainstorming on the relevant questions and ends with agreed actions.  

Convener:   AU Youth Envoy
Chair(s) :   The leader of the consulted group/organization

  1. Welcoming remarks by the Chair
  2. Welcoming remarks by AU Youth Envoy  
  3. Continental briefing on COVID-19 by Africa CDC
  4. Brainstorming on the Consultation’s Guiding Questions
  5. Agreed Actions  
  6. Closing in Solidarity 
  • Advisory Board (AYAB) for Disaster Risk Reduction (Report)
  • African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (Report)
  • Africa Youth Movement (Report)
  • AWLN Young Women Leaders Caucus (Report)
  • East African Community Youth Ambassadors (Report) 
  • GIMAC Young Women Network (Report) 
  • MILEAD Fellows (Report)
  • National Youth Councils (Report)
  • One Young World (Report)

To take part in upcoming consultations please sign up below Each consultation hosts maximum 25 participants for maximized outcome. For further questions please contact hello@auyouthenvoy.org