The African Union has called on African youths to break down all obstacles that limit their vitality and their energy in the transformation of the continent.
The union’s Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, made the call as he focused on the efforts expected of the youths in respect of their participation and their inclusion in development efforts.
In a statement commemorating the 2022 African Youth Day, the AU chief charged the youths to support governments with innovative ideas.
With more than 75 percent of Africa’s 1.2 billion inhabitants under the age of 35, and 453 million Africans aged 15 to 35, young people in Africa occupy a critical role in the continent’s development.
However, youths’ activeness in governance and participation in advocacy to address the problems affecting the continent remain low.
This year’s theme, ‘Breaking barriers to youths participation and inclusion through advocacy’, seeks to close this gap.
‘Thus, beyond the aspects of rejoicing, linked to the festive dimension of this celebration, we are called upon, together, young and old, to scrutinise the multiple areas of meaning, implied in the chosen theme’, Mahamat said in a statement marking the day.
He added, ‘Indeed, we must have the courage to recognise that the obstacles to the inclusion of young people could be sought in governance.
‘The rule of law, the obtention and the safeguarding of political, economic, cultural and social rights must be placed at the very core of this governance.
‘The large number of obstacles sometimes drive some sections of our youths, to develop, under the weight of suffering related to underemployment, a dark perception of themselves, their future, their respective countries and Africa’.
He also said that the participation and inclusion of youths call for a contribution of new blood to the various debates, through a renewal of ideas.
According to him, to do so, a positive mindset, steeped in resilience, patience, immersed in the virtues of moral probity and active faith in the future, remains the only guarantee of the triple political, economic and social effectiveness.
‘I, therefore, call upon the youths, whether on the continent or in the diaspora, to break down all obstacles that limit their vitality and their energy in the transformation of the continent’, he said.
‘Africa will, therefore, in the years and decades to come, rely on the scientific and technological competence of its youths of today, to increase its competitive ability in an increasingly interdependent world, dominated by the cold logic of global competition’.
The continent’s greatest asset is its youth population. However, the majority of youths do not have secure work or economic futures.
It is understood that youth unemployment causes extensive migration from Africa as young people seek better lives and resources to provide for their families at home.
Photo source: Paul Kagame