Series of 8 Virtual Dialogues with African Leaders

 

Pre-Webinar Forum – Youth Participation

A pioneering project by the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE), the Virtual AU Youth Consultations on COVID-19 for Youth Collective Response in collaboration with Africa CDC, is a series of Live engagements and dialogue between youth and African leaders. 

Since March 23rd, the AU Office of the Youth Envoy convened 13 consultations of focus groups discussion with over 400 youth leaders from 42 countries, and an average 25 participants per consultation. Learn more https://auyouthenvoy.org/vaucs/ & Read Reports here

Based on the outcomes of the focus group consultations, there were two main expectations from youth;  

  • The creation of youth policy space and framework within the African Union to co-lead the response to the pandemic. Therefore the African Union launched African Youth front on Coronavirus with 20 member networks, learn more https://auyouthenvoy.org/ayfocovid19/
  • Direct engagement, communication and dialogue with decision-makers. Therefore, the development of a series of 8  Webinars with African leaders.

Create the opportunity for African youth to participate in the decision-making process by establishing a model of dialogue and space for exchange and co-creation between youth and decision-makers as well as secure commitment from the leaders in favor of the youth agenda. This also aimed at continuing to bring the African Union closer to young people and foster intergenerational dialogues and Co-leadership.

Specific Objectives

  1. Enable youth with information and inspire with calls to action  
  2. Secure commitments from decision-makers to meet the youth policy recommendations
  3. Drive conversations for youth collective response

AU Youth Envoy hosts a guest speaker who is a decision-maker and African leader with live interventions from African youth, short interventions from global leaders and partners as well as Q&A from the participants and use of polls to highlight trends. 

8 Webinars themes

  • Community & Youth Engagement 
  • Youth & Human rights 
  • Rural youth and offline engagement 
  • Youth Unemployment & Economic Recovery 
  • Role of women & youth Civil society
  • Education & E-learning 
  • Digital Divide & Transformation 
  • African & Global Solidarity 

Expected Outcome
A roadmap with youth policy recommendations from the 8 discussed themes

Date & Time
Every Wednesday 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM EAT

Platform
Zoom with over 1000 participants + Live Facebook 

Youth Participation 

Youth intervened on specific themes throughout the webinars;

  1. Fatima AlSalami, Chad, Social Activist- Former volunteer to UNICEF Chad Head of the Education File Initiative of the Central African States, Rural Youth & Offline engagement
  2. Riya William Yuyada, South Sudan, African Women Leaders Network & The founder and Executive Director of Crown The Woman, South Sudan, Women & Youth civil society
  3. Helder Eduardo Pinto Afonso, Cameroon, Pan African University, Education & E-learning
  4. Kevin Njoroge, Kenya, Mukurweini Technical, Digital Divide & Transformation

Youth Participated in the Pre-Webinar forum;

Youth intervened on specific themes throughout the webinars;  

  1. Abdul Gaffar Ahmad Abdul Aziz, Nigeria, Executive Director at Digital for Africa, Digital Divide & Transformation
  2. Nelson Kwaje, South Sudan, DEFYHATENOW in East Africa, Digital Divide & Transformation
  3. Dr Rasha Elsayed Salem, Egypt, Member of the Human Resources Unit, Office of the Assistant Minister of Health for surveillance and surveillance and Comprehensive Health Insurance Project, Rural Youth & Offline engagement
  4. Hina Peter, South Sudan, Founder of “Hands of Hopes” Organisation, Rural Youth & Offline engagement,
  5. Karim M MohamedElmoghazy, Egypt, Founder of “Mashro’u Watan” Initiative, Rural Youth & Offline engagement
  6. Amal Djebbi, Tunisia, Former project Manager of Global Platforms, Rural Youth & Offline engagement
  7. Abderrahman Bahri, Tunisia, Works on a rural youth project- 3D Artist, Rural Youth & Offline engagement,
  8. Sidahmed Jouly, Saharawi Republic, From Saharawi Advocacy Campaign, Rural Youth & Offline engagement
  9. Musakaruka Rejoice Rumbidzai, Zimbabwe, Pan African University (PhD student in Governance and Regional Integration), Education & E-learning
  10. Brivery Siamabele, Zambia, an African University, Education & E-learning
  11. Mouhammed Falfoul, Tunisia, Founder of Youth club in Tunisia-Founder member of FNESS Senegal-Trainer in medical education with IFMSA, Education & E-learning
  12. Khamis Aguar, South Sudan, a lecturer at the University of Juba-a volunteer educator, Education & E-learning

Theme: Youth & Community Engagement

Key Discussion points 

  1. This is not the first time that the world is dealing with a global health emergency. As far back as 1918 , the world was affected by the influenza pandemic.  
  2. There are over 200 viruses with the potential of crossing over from their animal hosts to infect human beings. It is a generational health crisis
  3. Africa is also dealing with other infectious diseases affecting a large number of the population such as HIV and Malaria.
  4. In fighting the Covid-19 we should start with the community and end with the community, this means we should take the fight as a personal responsibility & become champions of ending the virus. 
  5. There is weak health infrastructure in Africa.

Call to Action 

  • Let’s create a youth-led movement called “Youth Against COVID-19 In Africa; use that movement to sensitize the public, despair false information and fake news and fundraise 1$ from 200M youth in the next 6 months.
  • Use different avenues in your own powers to make sure you contribute through group accountability, through your networks and channels, exercise leadership and fight this virus.
  • Support the contact tracing process especially the newly launched initiative on Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing: Trace, Test and Track
  • Work with public health experts and be champions for preventive measures including basic hygiene and social distancing
  • Do not stigmatize and advocate against discrimination of persons who are affected by the virus because COVID-19 is also a human rights issue.

Commitment

Theme: Youth & Human Rights

Key Discussion points

  1. The declaration of the State of Emergency does not stop the application process of Human Rights to provide the lens that society wouldn’t recognize. The importance of a right-based approach in creating effective measures towards  addressing  the COVID-19 pandemic and make people the front and centre of the response
  2. Successful measures to tackle COVID-19 should not only depend on politicians. There should be active participation of citizens through community engagement and meaningful leadership.
  3. In times of a national emergency, the state mobilizes, out of necessity, its extraordinary power, leading to a concentration of power in the hands of, in particular, the executive, with all the perils such concentration of extraordinary power entails including its susceptibility for abuse, thus increasing the dangers it poses to the rights of citizens
  4. The pandemic has tested our governance structures, our policy choices and the nature of our politics. The weaknesses that COVID19 exposed in the health system needs to be rectified, thus the need for treating health and socio-economic rights as fundamental rights and publicly investing in their realization. Did we make wrong policy, political and governance choices? Have we invested in our health systems? 
  5. To contain and end COVID19 no one should be left behind. All sectors of society, particularly most vulnerable should be protected. Excluding any section of society defeats the collective efforts.

Call to Action 

  • You should not only comply with science-based advice and measures but also help others comply with these measures
  • Mobilize, organize in order to ensure that you are protected and others are protected. Young people should be the agents, not only to seek protection from violence, but also to be agents of protection for other people in compliance with the human rights standard.
  • Youth resilience and creativity and the conditions for tapping into these (human rights) are more important than ever for a COVID19 free and secure future, particularly for youth

Commitment

ACHPR commits to continue monitoring and responding to the various human rights issues that youth have raised and also those that may be emerging and keeping his office open for communication and suggestions from young people.

Theme: Rural Youth & Offline Engagement

Key Discussion points

  1. We have a clear plan to fight the Coronavirus, as Africa, we know what we want to do, we know how to do it, what operational mechanisms and monitoring mechanisms are and Africa CDC is leading the implementation of policies developed by the African continent.
  2. We have learned from the 2018 Ebola outbreak, supporting the development of response and anti-Ebola plans in partnership with experts on field epidemiology. We have about 800 health volunteers who participated in the fight against the Ebola virus in 2014-2016, who are in their own countries, but we call them in emergencies like this one. We currently have 500 volunteers fully available to travel to countries with shortages of cadres, which are key areas where youth can be integrated.
  3. $70 million has been allocated to Africa CDC, to allow us to distribute medical assistance to all African countries and enable them to reduce the harm from the virus.
  4. AU works with the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and various youth organizations to provide young volunteers of various levels to help us implement the continental plan.
  5. There must be full justice in access to rural and remote health services, and how should rural citizens obtain the same rights as urban residents. We need to communicate information and raise awareness to communities, use the technology potential from which rural youth may be deprived. 

Call to Action 

  • Expand your participation as African youth, and we are open to all your new and contemporary ideas.
  • Use the speed of communication and the different skills in technology to help spread information and awareness.
  • Play an important role in the “1 million Test and Trace” initiative to reduce the incidence of infections. We urge youth and particularly rural youth to volunteer in health, we are looking to reach 2 million health volunteers.

Commitment

  • We are responsible for supporting your initiatives as youth, and for providing the necessary resources.
  • Focusing on Africa’s local industries, also in line with the African Free Trade Agreement, is on supporting all sectors that have initiated major supply manufacturing as masks

Theme: Youth Unemployment & Economic Recovery

Key Discussion points

  1. Young women have to fight for the public service space through: Voting during elections, Campaign engagement and Civil Society Engagements. Building Back post Covid-19 by putting women at the centre of decision making (Women and Gender) and Youth involvement.
  2. Need to rethink the education system in order to be relevant for the future. 
  3. Fighting corruption is dangerous. How can we devise better ways of protecting the Whistle-blowers in the continent?
  4. 70% of the youth in Africa are offline yet technology is the future. It is therefore time for African Union member states to start to invest in tech-infrastructure. 
  5. We need to make youth spaces and markets more resilient to their needs through effective, accountable leadership as it’s the key for African resilience and transformation. How can we help ourselves before we help others in the fight against COVID-19. Some Africans governments have removed tariffs on goods, central banks are providing liquidity, and the private sector has been active in funding.

Call to Action 

  • You want to be in policymaking and public service? Act for change! Become an activist! Vote! Use your voice! Change the Government.
  • You should be job creators and not job seekers. Create job for yourself and 6 others 

Commitment

I commit to continue pushing for internal & external additional resources in the fight against Covid-19 and demand accountability & transparency for the use of the same. 

Theme: The Role of Women & Youth-led civil society

Key Discussion points

  1. COVID-19 in Africa has exposed and showed the inequality and gaps that exist.  
  2. We need a people centered response to COVID-19 led by women and youth solutions. Youth and women are the human capital hence their contributions towards reconstruction and development. Social workers and health workers are 70% women and most probably the most impacted. We need to combine leadership and power in Africa, where women can have both to be part of the solution during the pandemic.
  3. There are funds that have been put at AU, National and International levels and it’s time to come up and make our governments accountable.  We need to invest in human security, water resources, and access of women to health services. This is a deep crisis but also an opportunity for us as Africa to invest in human security, health systems for women and young women.  In any crisis, there are opportunities. When we come out of the tunnel, we must invest in Human Security: zero tolerance to SGBV; reinforcement of social structures and inclusive societies
  4. Peace means working with women and youth to achieve African Agenda 2063. The chain of solidarity must not be stopped because of COVID19 especially when it comes to issues of sexual violence during COVID-19. We need more young women in civil society and leadership, especially in peace and security departments. This is imperative in realizing UNSC Resolution 1325 and 2250, and the SDGs 5 and 16, and Goals 13, 14 and 17 of the AU Agenda 2063. 
  5. Civil Society and NGOs are vital; they are in the middle where they connect the people to the governments,Youth might not be included in the decision making but they can engage on community level for instance federation of muslim women organization in Nigeria are working on community level solution to assist during COVID.

Call to Action 

  • We need the youth to come to the front, come up with solutions and request support, No one will come to you offering support. Fund is now being put on different platforms especially for COVID-19 in governments and African Union, Don’t wait for people to come and give you money, start thinking, give solutions, make your voices heard
  • Use social media, technology and innovation 

Commitment

  • My commitment is to continue to build the platform with women leaders, and engage with young people and support each other. We will continue the conversation, and make sure that the intergenerational dialogue continues, and do the mentoring online and powerful youth mobilization. Inter -Generational Dialogue should go on, elders should share their experience, while youth bring out innovative solutions
  • My second commitment is that we will include young people in the national chapter of Youth Peace and security agenda we are building at a national level. We will be able to show these cases within our platform at the national level. 

Theme: Education & E-Learning

Key Discussion points

  1. We need a generation of citizens who take on the challenges of the world and find local solutions for them in the spirit of Global Citizenship. 
  2. We need to implement systems for e-learning, to create credibility through the courses and ensure that everybody has a sense of belonging. 
  3. By 2063, Africa should be able to transform to The Africa We Want and the basis of that is education. 
  4. Forum of Africa Women Education (FAWE) created a modern school for teenage girls, so that they don’t stop going to school because they are pregnant. Pregnancy is not an illness.
  5. Covid-19 has shown that we need to change the way we work. The classroom will no longer be the four walls.

Call to Action 

  • Humility in education is important. See your job as a mission to deliver and help as many people you can.
  • Education without ethics is barbarism. Your education must be holistic. It must be seen in the way you speak, the way you see, the way you hear and your understanding.
  • In developing yourself, you build your own confidence, character and competence. It’s very important! Let us continue to motivate youth, to take action and ensure that boys and girls rights are protected. Take your job seriously, you must never give up. When your vision is right, continue to work and hope beyond hope. 

Commitment

The Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology is committed to assess the impact of covid19 on education, continue learning of all education levels,  look at the infrastructure available in the member states, and look for partnerships to help improve online trainings

Theme: Digital Divide & Transformation 

Key Discussion points

  1. Acknowledgement of the work of African youth despite all the challenges they face like digital divide, lack of resources, lack of connectivity etc. Many youth organizations are using digital tools to engage youth socially and create training while discussing many topics such as health and art. African Youth have always been innovative in finding solutions like literacy in refugee camps, for nomadic populations & women empowerment in rural areas etc. 
  2. The issue of cybersecurity should be addressed as children are online 24/7 
  3. There is a huge digital divide in universities regarding internet access. The marginalized academics use outdated 386 PCs that have limited or no access to the internet. Digital divide is not just coverage but broadband coverage and skills development. Digitalisation is much wider and deeper than ICT. Digitization provides solutions for development. Digital money like MPESA.It will cost about USD100 Billion for Africa to achieve complete digital transformation by 2030. AU is advocating for African strategy for digital transformation
  4. 51% of Africans don’t have access to electricity, how are we supposed to be digitized? We have to bridge these gaps first. More than 2/3rds of Africa don’t have electricity or reliable sources of energy. With no energy, there’s no digitalization and this is across all sectors.
  5. The issue of gender digital divide in digitalization can’t be dissociated from the gender divide in Africa. Gender discrimination has to be addressed through MultiSectoral approach and Cross-sectoral collaboration.

Call to Action           

  • African Youth should think about challenges that they have overcome – an important reason to believe in change and not challenges.
  • African youth have always been coming up with fantastic solutions through electricity and energy in the refugee camp, for digital literacy for normal society and practical solutions in the rural areas. Keep doing that.

Commitment

  • Intergenerational dialogue must continue to address the Digital Divide in Africa & harness potential of digitalisation. Together we can ensure a resilient recovery & faster sustainable development.
  • My commitment to you is that I will keep the digitization, this time we have to trust this opportunity to use it right and I am sure we can do it before 2030

Concluding Webinar;

Date: Wednesday 10 June 2020

Time: 2:00PM – 4:00PM Addis Ababa Time

Theme: African & Global Solidarity

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Qy6pAdffSuq2D-alAZvQFA 


Programme 

Prof. Eddy Maloka

  • Youth interventional from APRM Youth Network 

H.E Chileshe M. Kapwepwe

  • Youth intervention from African Youth Front on Coronavirus 

H.E George Papandreou

  • Video from a member of the AU Youth Advisory council 

H.E Mary Robinson

  • Video from UNFPA – ED 

H.E Joyce Banda

  • Video from African Youth Ambassador for Peace

H.E Graça Machel 

  • Youth intervention from Racial Justice Activist in South Africa 

Please fill the form below with your ideas, policy recommendations and/or evaluation