The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) has commissioned a continent-wide study to ascertain the contribution of youths in security and peace-building in the continent.
To this end, the Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, convened a methodological workshop for the conduct of the AU-PSC’s mandated ‘study on the role and contributions of youth to peace and security in Africa’.
The Head Of Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division, Amb. Fred Ngoga, in a statement made available after the workshop, noted that the mandated study was an outcome of the PSC dedication of its 807th meeting on November 8, 2018, to an open session “Youth, Peace and Security” in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day.
Ngoga said the forum provided an opportunity for youth groups to update the Council on their contributions to peace and security.
“In commending African youth for their contributions to peace and security, the PSC however noted the limited documentation and publicity of their roles and contributions.
“In this context, the PSC requested the AUC to conduct a study on the role of youth in promoting peace and security in Africa and to submit the findings of the study to Council for consideration and action as may be appropriate,” he said.
While welcoming participants to the forum, Ngoga underscored the imperatives of creating safe spaces for youth to engage in peace processes for the sustainable prevention management and resolution of conflicts.
To achieve this, he envisaged peace processes where AU delegations are accompanied by women via Femwise, the network of African female mediators as well as the youth, and indicated that the youth for peace program would equally be catered for via the AU Peace Fund.
In the same vein, the Early Warning Officer, Peace & Security Department, AUC, Ms. Mfrekeobong Ukpanah, said the PSC session was advocated by the PSD to give impetus to the Youth for Peace Africa Programme, which was launched in Lagos, Nigeria in September 2018.
According to Ukpana, the aim was to effectively engage, involve and collaborate with the young women and men, as well as organised youth groups in the promotion of peace and security.
She stated that this is in accordance with the implementation of the Article 17 of the Africa Youth Charter that was adopted by the Assembly of the African Union in Banjul, The Gambia in July 2006; the 665th Communiqué of the PSC of March 2017, which encouraged the involvement of youth in conflict prevention and mediation efforts; and, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 and 2419 respectively.
Against this backdrop, Ukpana said the methodological workshop brought together representatives of youth organisations, researchers practitioners across the continent as well as officers from concerned departments of the AUC, with an aim to propose an appropriate approach for the conduct of the continental study.
Also, the Analyst with the Continental Early Warning System, AUC, Dr. Rhuks Ako, stated that workshop recommended that national and regional level consultations should be conducted with youth organizations, target beneficiaries as well as representatives of government and inter-governmental organizations to unravel the impact of youth interventions.
“It further proposed that the study should include key thematic covered by the PSC as well as emerging issues on peace and security,” she added.