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Excerpts from the AU-EU Youth Forum

A few weeks ago I ensured to lend my voice, experience and ideas to this cause at the recently concluded AU-EU youth forum where I served as a rapporteur and youth representative for the African Union.

Poverty eradication amongst youths is of pivotal importance and has been a wakeup call for many.
The SDG overview in 2019 predicted that young workers are twice likely to live in extreme poverty as an adult worker. The question that follows is: “how do we as youth synergize to terminate this plague that’s predicted to set in”?

The world goal to end all form of poverty in 2030 abruptly declined by 8.2% and is estimated to decline to 6% by 2030. This summary states the obvious that the world is off-track towards ending poverty by 2030.

One personal striking element of the 17 SDGs is their interconnectivity.

With 65% of the world’s population said to be youths, who in one way or another are leading many sectors across the global continent, paving way for more active involvement and inclusion of youths in policy and decision making, economic, social, and political positions of power would tremendously feed into and activate the objectives of eradicating poverty by 2030.

Also read: Africa could gain US$89B/yr by curbing illicit capital flows

With 100 youth spread across six working groups, we deliberated on the following topics

  1. Nutrition and Poverty( SDGs 1 & 2)
  2. Sustainable growth and employment (SDG 8)
  3. Education and digitalization (SDG 4)
  4. Climate action and renewable energy (SDGs 7 & 13)
  5. Peace and security, good governance, political inclusion (SDG 16)
  6. Health and the impacts of COVID-19 (SDG 3)

The aim for this was to propose recommendations that would serve as a roadmap of solutions and feed into the upcoming EU-AU summit.

The following high-level executives from both continents graced the event:

  • Dr Gerd Muller’ German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development;
  • Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor, AU commissioner for HR science and technology;
  • Jutta Urpilainin, EU commissioner for international cooperation;
  • Martin Jager, State secretary BMZ;
  • Natasha Wang Mwansa, Child and Woman right advocate and activist, and more.

For my working group, I worked hand in hand with Matteo Emmanuello from Frankfurt, CO- rapporteur who represented the European Union alongside other amazing youths from both continents.
There we all proposed different recommendations based on personal experiences and expertise. These recommendations were further condensed to the following (click on the link to read
https://www.bmz.de/de/themen/jugendforum/index.html)

I particularly loved the positive energy transmitted during the course of the event, and the concepts of engaging youths across Africa and Europe with interdisciplinary interests and experiences. These significantly influenced the basis of the recommendations that each working group came up with as well as stating factors that would determine whether or not we’d succeed in attaining the SDGs by 2030.

I hope that policies and decisions that would be implemented following the recommendations from all six working groups would have a proof of concept, that influences the participation of youths in politics, decision making, as well as empowerment on different levels such as digitalization, innovation, funding, equal rights for women and more.

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