By Aisha Tamba
Hundreds of youths of the African continent took part in the third African regional youth forum that ended in Gambia recently.
The “prestigious” African youth consultation, which seeks to promote respect for political commitment, democracy, governance, human rights and guaranteed freedoms, social cohesion, conflict prevention, peace and security, brought together young leaders from all over Africa from 28 to 30 October 2019 in Banjul to discuss the role of African youth in peace building and conflict resolution.
The forum also analysed the innovative capacity, creativity and new forms of emerging expressions of young people with a focus on the best benefit that can be derived from them.
he overall objective was to provide young African leaders of both sexes, of all categories and backgrounds with a platform to reflect and exchange between different segments of youth and to give them the opportunity to interact with other actors in the societal space to create the necessary synergies to bring solutions to their problems and those of society.
Senior government figures including the vice president attended the forum.
The vice president said The Gambia has set an example in shaping the narrative of Africa from a conflict-stricken region to a continent that can progress through peaceful means.
She urged young people to work to establish and encourage peace and liberty in their countries.
The chairperson of the National Youth Council, NYC, said: “This is a very important day where people gather to discuss about paving a way for peace, democracy, development and empowerment of young people in the African continent. We cannot continue to dwell in poverty and in conflicts. This is the time for Africans to stand and work to unite as one young people and put away our differences.”
The Banjul+Forum is a continuation of the two previous ones (Banjul 2016 and 2017). It reflects Unesco and partners commitment to work with and for young people to ensure their autonomy and promote their leadership.
The forum was co-organised by Unesco, OHCHR and other UN agencies in close collaboration with Gambian authorities, PAYNCOP and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).