The Africa-Europe Youth Summit is an integral part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). It brings together representatives of African, European and diaspora youth platforms and organisations with the objective of presenting their views on critical issues pertaining to youth on both continents to European and African leaders.
Youth Summits traditionally take place in the run-up to the Africa-EU Summits of Heads of State and Government. They are facilitated by youth umbrella organisations, such as:
- European Youth Forum (YFJ);
- PanAfrican Youth Union (PYU) and Network of International Youth Organisation of Africa (NIYOA);
- African Diaspora Youth Network in Europe (ADYNE), African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe (ADYFE) and African Caribbean Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP-YPN).
- Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe
Until now three Summits have taken place:
- 1st Africa Europe Youth Summit in 2007 in Lisbon (Portugal) page 29-48 includes the declaration and address to the 2nd EU-Africa Heads of State Summit
- 2nd Africa Europe Youth Summit in 2010 in Tripoli (Libya). The Tripoli Declaration
- 3rd Africa-EU Youth Leaders' Summit in 2014 in Brussels (Belgium). See Summit paper, Flash report and pictures
Embracing a people-centered approach, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) promotes a significant role for civil society organisations. Fulfilling this role, youth organisations from both regions have been working together with other civil society organisations and sub-regional institutions to follow up on the Africa-EU Youth Summits and the implementation of the JAES.
The Youth Summits aim to increase the participation of young people in Euro–African cooperation, to reinforce the youth work in both regions and to influence youth policy in African-European cooperation.
In December 2007 in Lisbon (Portugal), the 1st Africa-Europe Youth Summit took place, attended by over 250 youth representatives from European and African youth organisations, including representatives of the African Diaspora living in Europe. It concluded with a Declaration that included the main priorities for African and European young people in European-African cooperation.
In November 2010, around 100 young people from African and European youth organisations met in Tripoli (Libya) for the 2nd Africa-Europe Youth Summit. The Summit preceded the Africa-EU Heads of State Summit, during which the President of the European Youth Forum delivered input on behalf of the Youth Summit together with the African young people representatives.
The 3rd Africa-Europe Youth Leaders' Summit took place in March 2014 in Brussels (Belgium). The event brought together more than 100 young people from African and European youth organisations to address key issues, which were also discussed at the Summit of Heads of State and Government with the aim of promoting a meaningful participation by young people in the Africa-EU Partnership.
2017 is a crucial year for young people in Africa and Europe to get involved in policy dialogue as agenda-setters. Youth affairs are an integral part of the EU Joint Communication for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership and the African Union has devoted the theme of the year 2017 to “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”. Youth will likewise feature highly on the agenda of various preparatory events to the AU-EU Summit, such as the EU-Africa Business Forum.
Africa-Europe Youth Summit - Programme
Africa-Europe Youth Summit - List of participants
Main role and objectives
The main objectives of the Youth Summit are to:
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges of young people and youth civil society in Europe and Africa, including common and diverging themes, as well as potential avenues for solutions.
- Strengthen the framework for Africa-Europe youth dialogue and cooperation, leading to a rejuvenated and sustainable cooperation between African and European youth organisations.
- Develop a youth perspective on the priority areas and topics to be discussed at, and in the lead up to, the Heads of State Summit.
- Contribute to the development of a coherent and coordinated strategy on youth in the Africa-EU partnership, taking into account the relevant policy and political frameworks at both regional and global level.
Examples of activities and achievements:
- Africa-Europe Training Courses for Youth Organisations where participants from youth organisations from both continents acquired knowledge and skills on how to strengthen their participation in the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
- Launch of the Africa-Europe Youth Platform (AEYP) led by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, in partnership with the African Union Commission and in cooperation with the European Youth Forum, the African Diaspora Youth Network in Europe and the Pan African Youth Union.