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Localizing the African Youth Charter – Afrigrowth Foundation

Localizing the African Youth Charter

 “No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.”

– Kofi Annan

Africa’s robust Youth environment and increasing Youth population makes her the most youthful populated continent in the world. According to the United Nations in 2015; “226 million Youths aged 15-24 years lived in Africa, representing nearly 20% of Africa’s population; thus, making up one-fifth of the world’s Youth population”. If one includes all people aged below 35 years, this number increases to a staggering three quarters of Africa’s population. African Youths provide huge social, economic and political capital required to drive socio-political and economic development in the continent and are currently striving to become impact creators.

Cognizant of Africa’s youth population, with over 75% of the continent’s population under the age of 35, the African Union (AU) has since prioritized the empowerment of young people as central to achieving the vision of Agenda 2063. The African Youth Charter, adopted in 2006, is a rights-based framework which guides the engagement and empowerment of Youths in Africa; enshrines their rights, duties and freedoms and has spawned the action plans which have guided continental programming, most recently the African Plan of Action on Youth Empowerment (APAYE 2019-2023).

39 African States have ratified and adopted the African Youth Charter; however, it is imperative for African Youths to participate in national advocacy and accountability for its implementation.

The emerging global and regional consensus on youth development clearly underscores the need to ensure the inclusion of youth perspectives in the development process along with their effective participation in national development practice. Over the years, there has been a gradual increase in global awareness about the vital role of young people in sustainable development.

Effective youth participation in democracy and good governance becomes more meaningful when youths are able to express their preferences, aggregate their interests, and influence public officials and public policy, using avenues and opportunities in the political system towards helping to maintain government accountability and demanding government transparency and responsiveness.

AfriGrowth Foundation, via its youth mentorship programs, has initiated a platform to reposition the African Youths to take their place as national assets. AfriGrowth Foundation has designed the Illuminate Africa Youth Initiative (ILAYIN), as a signature program to publicize and advocate for the overall implementation of the African Youth Charter. 

ILAYIN will foster collaborate and synergy between youth led and focused civil societies in Africa to identify best practices on youth policy formulation and implementation and encourage the adaptation principles and experiences sharing, with specific focus on the incorporation of the African Youth Charter within the working programs and policies of their respective countries and develop national working documents for the implementation of the Charter in line with the most recently the African Plan of Action on Youth Empowerment (APAYE 2019-2023).

AfriGrowth Foundation believes and affirms that Youths are the quintessence of energy, initiative and the powerhouse of Africa. Thus, it’s most imperative for them to effectively champion and participate in this enlightenment and awareness campaign, which is an integral part of advocacy for improved implementation of the African Youth Charter.