African and European youth congregated in South Africa for the 7th edition of the Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organisations from 23 – 30 May. Participants from youth organisations from both continents acquired knowledge and skills on how to strengthen their participation in the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
The Youth Partnership is an initiative between the Council of Europe and the European Commission, which includes a Euro-African dimension that is implemented by the Council of Europe’s North-South Centre. This edition of the course was organised in co-operation with the African Institute of South Africa, the European Youth Forum and the Pan African Youth Union.
It brought together around 30 youths who are representatives of youth organisations in Europe and Africa. The course aimed to enable youth to obtain the knowledge and tools needed to strengthen their political participation within the Africa-EU Partnership, and especially have an impact on poverty eradication and social cohesion.
In addition to giving the youth who attended the course a valuable experience in how to influence Africa-EU politics, it proved an open platform for networking as well.
What the course tried to strengthen in the young adults was a realisation of the role youth organisations can play as active civil society actors. Only when they appreciate their ability to organise and take action at youth level, can they strengthen their political participation.
Four trainers took charge of the course – two from Africa and two from Europe. They hoped to have conveyed a strong message to the participants: to actively commit to strengthen civil society and to understand and learn from shared cultural, social and political experiences during the course.
The youth came from a 50-50 split from Africa and Europe, and had backgrounds in youth organisation work from their home countries.