During three days of active debates at the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit in Abidjan, the participants developed a Declaration to put forward to Heads of State and Government at the 5th AU-EU Summit in November.
From 9-11 October, members of youth organisations from Africa and Europe, including representatives of the African Diaspora, set policy priorities from a youth perspective
"Investing in youth is a prerequisite for building a sustainable future"
Selected from over 7500 applicants, the group of 120 motivated young people from Africa and Europe worked out solution to issues important to youth on both continents. Their joint recommendations focus on the six thematic areas: education & skills, peace & security, governance & inclusion, environment & climate, business & job creation, and culture & arts.
In their declaration, youth representatives call on AU and EU Heads of State and Government to work collectively to support and advance education, skills development, mobility and access to markets, youth participation and young people’s access to rights. The recommendations highlight the need to provide the right environment for young people to reach their full potential and to positively impact our societies.
On education and skills, the young Africans and Europeans speak out for the recognition of competences gained through non-formal education as well as universal access to quality education. To boost business and job creation, the youth delegates call for a better business environment and programs that enhance sustainable access to finance and build capacity.
The declaration aims to empower young people to participate in democratic governance, by adapting the age of eligibility to stand for election and the creation of a European Youth Charter. On peace and security, the youth representatives urge governments to tackle racism and discrimination and to include young migrants and the Diaspora in conflict prevention.
The young people's ideas highlight the need for incentives to move towards more environmentally friendly economies, proposing youth-led initiatives and sustainable agricultural programmes. Finally, the youth representatives calls on AU and EU Member states to support young people working in creative industries, through policies and action plans promoting innovative arts and cultural youth productions.
"Governments and institutions must be a bridge between the state and young people."
The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit aimed to strengthen the role of young people in the political process preparing the 5th AU-EU Summit. 'Investing in Youth' will be an overarching theme when African and European Heads of State will meet on 29-30 November to discuss the priorities of their partnership for the years to come. Through their recommendations, the youth representatives provided an important impulse for the upcoming talks between African and European political leaders.
The Youth Summit declaration will be followed up by a group of 36 youth delegates selected for the AU-EU Youth Plug-In initiative to further develop the proposals of the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit Declaration.
The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit has been organised by youth organisation platforms in Africa and Europe (the Pan-African Youth Union, the Network of International Youth Organisations in Africa, and the European Youth Forum) as well as diaspora organisations (ADYNE, ADYFE and ACP-YPN), with input from the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. It is supported by the European Union in partnership with the African Union together with Côte d'Ivoire as the hosting country.
The simultaneous interpretation during the Summit was provided by interpreters from the Pan‐Africa Master Consortium in Interpretation and Translation (PAMCIT), a project supported by the EU through the Pan-African Programme.
Learn more about the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit