As the world moves towards the realization of the benefits associated with investing in young people; the youth in Zimbabwe have taken upon themselves through the concept of Leave No Youth Behind that seeks to empower, facilitate participation and equip young people to demand accountability.
By NANGO and NAYO
In line with Section 20 of the Zimbabwe Constitution and the Zimbabwe Youth Policy; young people should participate in political, social, economic and cultural development of our country.
Through the oncoming EU-Africa Summit due to take place in November 2017, in Ivory Coast; NANGO as the coordinating body of CSOs in Zimbabwe and National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO), the youth sector representative and umbrella board for youth in Zimbabwe are spearheading and coordinating actions ahead of the EU-Africa Summit and coordinate the voice and issues of the youth so that their voice is head and the actions to be discussed and implemented are defined by the youth.
To broaden the scope of the intervention a national task force that include key representatives of the young people was established, taking into account the young people living with disability, young women, youth from churches, youth in business, students, youth from the Media and rural youth among other. The task force will spearhead the national consultation and develop a road-map for the EU-Africa Summit in order to make sure all the views from the youth are included, consolidated and help to shape our policies at national and continental level.
The theme for the EU-AU Summit is centered on youth in a context of African demographic trends creating major challenges for young people in terms of migration, security and employment.
The E.U through their New European Consensus on Development is working with key partners including the youth; which will empower and ensure that the youth are brought to the mainstream of economic and development, this is being done with key focus on supporting youth and improving their future prospects; increase quality employment and entrepreneurship, supporting effective education, vocational training, skills development, and access to digital technologies and services and lastly strengthening youth empowerment and participation in local economies, societies, and decision making.
In line with the Agenda 2063 of the Africa Union, youth inclusion and empowerment is at the center of AU taking youth not only as beneficiaries but also as leaders and key stakeholders in national development processes.
The EU-AU Summit will assist the Zimbabwean youth to lobby for concrete empowerment and inclusion mechanisms that enable young people to utilize, develop their skills and have decent work. A Youth Development strategy that is line with Zimbabwe economic policies will be mooted in order to allow practical ways of dealing with youth challenges such as unemployment, lack of participation in policy, suppression of freedoms among other.
Meanwhile, the youth will be using key social media handles towards the buildup of the conference in Abidjan these include #LeaveNoYouthBehind #RoadToAbidjan.