BLACK HISTORY MONTH EU (BHMEU) is a commemorative month dedicated to celebrating the impact of the People of African Descent (PAD) community in the history and the future of the European Union. The idea of expanding this initiative stemmed from the Black History Month held in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
As a network that provides a platform for young people to play an active role in policy-making processes nationally, regionally and internationally, we aim to ensure equal opportunity by promoting and facilitating the integration of the perspectives of ACP and EU youth.
We launched last year BHM EU, in 2018, to bring Black History Month to the Brussels Bubble and to the EU institutions with three main objectives:
To encourage exchange and dialogue on mutual experiences in the young PAD community;
To highlight, promote and foster the participation of young PAD in politics, institutions, entrepreneurship and the Information Communication Tech sector;
To inspire a greater network of PAD.
Our main objectives for the BHM-EU 2019 are as follows:
Spread awareness on the UN International Decade for people of African descent 2015-2024 across Europe around its three pillars: recognition, justice and development — and
Advocate for the official launch of the Decade in all member states;
Reach out to prospective BHM-EU partner organizations across Europe;
Promote and highlight the participation of PAD in all fields of public sphere;
We hope to expand BHM-EU across member states for it to become a movement for economic, social, civic and political inclusion.
You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU
From 1 to 3 August 2019, Aïssatou Touré, ACP YPN Policy Officer was invited at the GLOBAL YOUTH EMPLOYMENT FORUM 2019, organized in Abuja, Nigeria by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) under the theme “An opportunity to celebrate the past and embrace the future”. During three days, the Forum celebrated 60 years of ILO’s presence in Africa, as well as 100 years of the ILO’s work promoting decent jobs for youth. More than 200 young people from 65 countries including representatives from governments, socials partners, UN and other multilateral organisations, private sector and foundations, civil society, academia and regional institutions were gathered.
The Forum built upon the 2012 International Labour Conference where ILO constituents adopted “The Youth Employment Crisis – A Call for Action”, placing investments in youth employment at the top of national development agendas and providing guidance on how to improve youth’s transition into decent work in the areas of: Employment and economic policies for youth employment; Employability, including education, training and skills, and the school-to-work transition; Labour market policies; Youth entrepreneurship and self-employment; and Rights for young people.
Sensitize and train young people on opportunities in the green economy
Create institutional mechanisms to promote and support the creation of green jobs (while improving social security conditions and occupational health)
Create measures to support green value chains (from production, through processing and marketing)
Promote equitable access to green jobs for all segments of the population (migrants, women, youth)
Creation of a tripartite training and liaison office between ILO, private sector and youth organisations (including entrepreneurs)
During the Share Fair on YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SOLUTIONS (YES!), a marketplace of innovative solutions recognizing the diversity of youth, Aïssatou alongside Elvis Adjahoungba presented and discussed practical solutions implemented in Benin to raise awareness in the African context in schools and universities around SDGs and how to can make it relevant in our context.
By ACP YPN
Want to know more about Governance and youth inclusion ? Get in touch with Aïssatou on LinkedIn, Twitter.
Universities, specialized schools, training centers, and high schools, Edu-Carib has created a space for students wishing to study in the Caribbean Region.
Courses and excellent programmes the Caribbean… yes, they exist! The Caribbean is the birthplace to excellent universities, business, and engineering schools. There are more than 100 campuses in the region. The Edu-Carib.com platform aims to become the main reference point for academic advice, guidance, and training in the Caribbean Region. In the age of ICT technologies, it is crucial to establish a digital connection between Caribbean people and those who wish to come to study there.
On Saturday July 13th, 2019, a professional coaching workshop was held at the Training and Professional Development Academy (AFPEC) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The theme of the workshop was ‘Training Opportunities in the Caribbean – Special Edition: Tourism’.
The purpose of this seminar was to give participants practical information on the different types of training provided by the academic partners of the Edu-Carib programme, university campuses and available scholarship opportunities in the Caribbean that are open to not only students from the region but also those from other parts of the world who are interested in furthering their studies at an institution in the Caribbean.
The launch of the platform is expected very soon and until then, workshops, coaching sessions, forums for discussion and support services are underway.
We all have a talent. To discover this talent, you must be willing to think outside the box. This can be you. We provide counsel and guidance to all types of profiles. Do you have difficulty determining the direction of your schooling or your career?
Want to know more about training opportunities in the Caribbean or about the support services offered by Edu-Carib and the next dates of workshops in your country? Feel free to contact them at email@example.com come join the wave of talent on Edu-Carib!
On the 3rd and 4th of July 2019, the ACP YPN Ambassadors attended the 6th meeting of the EU-Africa Economic and Social Stakeholders’ Network at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on the topic of Investing in Africa. The EESC led the two day event by firstly enabling non-state actors to understand and exchange on institutional investments mechanics, to then examine the EESC consultative work on investment and trade and ended with a study on the impact of investment in the private, social and environmental sectors.
Participants and speakers from both continents joined in the discussion. These
representatives of networks and organisations of employers presented their projects and problems they encountered in the EU-Africa investment context.
On the first day, the EESC president, Luca Jahier started off the meeting, followed up by the introductory remarks by the president of the ACP-EU follow-up committee, Jarosław Mulewicz. The opening session on the EU-Africa investment mechanism: towards a manual for civil society organizations was then hosted by, Robert Lisinge, Chief of Energy Infrastructure and Services Section of Private Sector Development and Finance Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), representing the African continent and Torsten Ewerbeck, Deputy Head of Unit Coordination of the External Investment Bank (EIP) Secretariat and Blending Facilities, DG DEVCO and Corinne Salinas International aid – cooperation officer, EU Trust Fund for Sahel and Lake Chad, DG DEVCO, as EU representatives presented and explained their projects in Africa. On the afternoon of the same day, the topic was on investment and trade as instruments, with special focus on Africa, Mr Metzler and Wagensonner, presented the EESC work in progress.
On the second day, the focus was on the impact of investing in the private sector with Christian Elias, Head of Unit for Public Sector operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ousseine Diallo, Executive Secretary Fédérations des Organisations patronales d’Afrique de l’Ouest and Olivier Poujade, Director-general East Africa Gate and Founder of the EU chamber of commerce in Ethiopia. The final session held was on the impact of investing in the social and environmental sectors with Micheline Dion Sompleni, president of the Union des Coopératives de Femmes Transformatrices de poisson de Côte d’Ivoire (USCOFEP-ci), Joaquina Almeida, Secretary-General of the Union Nacional dos Trabalhadores de Cabo Verde – Central Sindical (UNTC-CS), Professor Aboubacar Awaiss, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) and last but not least, Anselme Amoussou, Secretary general of the Confédération des Syndicats Autonomes du Bénin (CSA BENIN).
The two main common factors in every participant’s speech were focused on gender equality and youth inclusiveness. As the only young participants, our presence and participation in the event showed our commitment and motivation to partake and voice our opinions as ACP ambassadors in the EU-Africa investment context. In reference to the mission and vision of ACP YPN in advocacy role in inclusion of youth and Diaspora in the contribution to policy dialogue in the context of the theme of the event investing in Africa, it was clear that very little was achieved in this regard. The take away from the event was dominated by a showcase of practices ( including best practices and otherwise) as shown by participants across the region.
Firstly, in regards to the Diaspora and youth involvement in the development agenda, there was no special attention to the youth as shown by several case studies. And secondly from the modalities of investment and access to funds by the ACP stakeholders in their region. The two points are intertwined since the theme is investing in Africa. The investment funds and the trust funds as well as the criteria to access the funds in the African region is in itself a hindrance and blockage to gain access to the funds despite the huge potentials of the African market. In addition, transparency and more simple application for the funds will result in a more efficient work for both partners.
This two-day meeting ended with Jaroslaw Maculewicz presentation of the final declaration, which will be addressed to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the African Union.
This draft declaration essentially incorporates five main points, which are the following:
● The role of civil society in Africa -Eu relations
● The EU-Africa investment mechanisms
● The importance of infrastructure as a factor of progress
● The impact of investing in the private sector
● The impact of investing in the social and environmental sectors
By IGIHOZO Emelyne and SODADE David – Get in touch with Emelyne via Linkedin and
David via Linkedin.
On the 18th and 19th June 2019, for the fourth time, African Caribbean Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN) sent a delegation of 7 ACP YPN Youth Ambassadors to the thirteenth edition of the European Development Days (EDD), the biggest European development forum gathering the development community together.
As a lead youth organization in the ACP- EU partnership, ACP YPN had a precious spot at the Youth Lounge in the European Village along with other youth organisations.
The Youth Lounge aimed at providing a meeting place for young people to network and connect between themselves but also to engage with EDD participants and organizations. High profile visitors came to the Youth Lounge such as the second lady of Ghana or Nas –the famous influencer, among others.
ACP YPN participated and organized several activities during the two-day event at the Youth Lounge including engaging with EDD participants:
-Adélaïde Hirwe moderated the panel under the topic ‘Tackling Inequality through Youth Governance’ at ADEPT Platform stand. The discussion showcased examples of African diaspora contribution in reducing youth inequalities.
-Our already famous ‘Dance for equality’ this year was lead by Uriel Dance through steps of salsa, bachata and to the sound of African rhythms. Participants were invite to engage, through movement, on the topics of the vital role of the youth and the need for fully inclusive and equal participation and leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the 21st of May, ACP YPN celebrated their social event European Elections, the Kick-off! This event included the participation of Karim Hallal Peche that has been in institutions such as Amnesty International, the European Parliament in Brussels and UNICEF, both in the Spanish Committee and in the office in Brussels that leads the relations with the EU institutions. He currently works in the Migration Policy Group, a migration think tank in Brussels.
His passion for politics and communication led him to start a YouTube channel to disseminate in a dynamic and neutral way about the European Union. Regarding the #thistimeimvoting campaign, he was the Spanish most voted at the beginning of the campaign, and the second one in Europe.
Some of the main recommendations that Karim mentioned in order to better communicate politics to young people and include them in the policy-making process included two crucial bullet points:
-Get closer: sharing their language (by using a clear vocabulary and not wordy sentences that makes nothing but confuse the audience, and being on the platforms they use will help you to get closer to them.
-Include them: you have to take them into account, make their voices heard if you want them to listen to you.
After Karim’s speech, an intense debate about the importance of black people representation in the European Parliament and the lack of it took place at the event. The attendees talked about how to involve black youth into politics and what would the consequences be. It’s not an easy process, but it must be reached step by step.
By Ana Gallego – Get in touch with Ana via Linkedin
On 29th-30th April 2019, Aïssatou Touré, ACP YPN Policy Officer, and Sarah Gane, ACP YPN Expert were invited at the European Parliament in Brussels to the European Youth Week 2019, under the theme “Democracy and me” aiming to explore the ways young people can influence decisions and be active in society.
The European Youth Week takes place every second year aiming to celebrate and promote youth activities through events organized in all countries participating in Erasmus+ program bringing together young people, project participants, youth organisations and policy-makers. It is organized by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture in partnership with the European Parliament and involving other Directorates-General of the European Commission.
Sarah and Aissatou were in charge of monitoring a Trivia Quiz, aiming to raise awareness and share knowledge on youth participation and involvement in politics in Europe and beyond. Cooperating with the young people invited on the stand, we set several questions for the quiz aiming neighborhood countries, African countries, and Europe as a whole. An interactive and fun way to discover different political contexts through concrete data, compare Europe and other parts of the world to make links but also promote connections among participants.
This event was perfectly included in the whole stand activity, among small roundtables, SDG games, pictures and Commission sensitization stand on youth and social inclusion.
By ACP YPN
Want to know more about Governance and youth inclusion ? Get in touch with Sarah and Aïssatou on LinkedIn, Twitter.
On 4 March, 2019 ACP YPN Policy Expert and Youth Ambassador, Kelly-Ann Fonderson presented at the Feminist and Gender Equality Group Lightning talks in Bath, UK. The Feminist and Gender Equality group at the University Bath hosted an event on feminism featuring 12 student leaders. Fonderson’s presentation on “Black Feminism and Radical Self Care” included a brief introduction to the Black feminism, key contributions to contemporary feminist literature.
Fonderson’s presentation introduced the audience to major thinkers within the Black feminist tradition spanning across two centuries. The presentation traced the genealogy of intersectionality, a term coined by African-American legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw. Introductory remarks began with the 19th century Black Feminist Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and author of “Ain’t I A Woman.” Truth’s interventions in both spheres were never fully embraced due to racism or sexism. The term intersectionality was coined in the 1980s and is common term in mainstream feminism today. While the term has since been adopted in sociology, education and even EU policy, it was originally used to describe how multiple forms of discrimination overlapped or intersected.
The presentation elaborated on thinkers such as Audre Lorde and bell hooks and their contributions to feminism and theorizing inequalities from a structural standpoint. A reconceptualization of what feminism meant for them which was overcoming the oppressive nature of sexism for all people. This definition incorporates women and men across class, age, and ethnicities. One of their various approaches to challenging structures of discrimination is summarised in Audre Lorde’s quote. Audre Lorde famously wrote “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” This notion was unpacked and linked back to self-care, self-esteem and living consciously as a practical way of incorporating feminism into everyday life.
In summary, the “Black Feminism and Radical Self Care” talk amplified the overlooked yet crucial voices to contemporary feminism that have shaped women’s rights, the fight for equality and society as a whole.
By Kelly-Ann Fonderson – Get in touch via Linkedin
On 20 February 2019 Kelly-Ann Fonderson, ACP YPN Policy Expert, attended the Projekt Hansa Youth Event hosted by the ECR Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The aim of the youth conference was to strengthen and promote trade and cultural ties amongst European countries while equipping the next generation of young leaders with skills. Fonderson joined 16 participants representing eight Northern European countries including Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
Some of the notable panels and workshops included:
Single Market and the euro – Ulrike Trebesius, MEP and David Hening, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
Leadership Skills – ECR Chairman Syed Kamall, MEP
Social media strategy – Kayla De Nardi
Networking training – Dr Martine Alonso Marquis
Panels ranged from trade and the Single market, leadership, digital marketing and networking. Notable speakers included MEP Ulrike Trebesius who presented on the future of trade and the Single Market and the euro currency. In her intervention, she shared the possible effects that the UK’s departure from the EU would have upon the Single Market. Nevertheless, she optimistically concluded that the market will find its own way independently of politicians.
MEP Kamall led a leadership skills session. He emphasised the need to have a clear vision, communication built on understanding of your team members, and aligning common goals and ambitions to produce the desired outcome. He shared his journey of entering multiple elections and building resilience and perseverance in the face of unsuccessful elections and the importance of learning from each attempt.
The social media training session included expert advice on how to run effective campaigns and strategies to make an impactful message reach a targeted audience. Kayla de Nardi shared her experience and emphasised the importance of authenticity, keeping the audience in mind, and facilitating engagement.
As a young professionals network it is important to train youth with the soft skills they need to network effectively and foster meaningful connections. Dr Martine Alonso Marquis, Career Advisor & Trainer and Adjunct Professor at the Vesalius College, shared useful advice on preparation, body language and listening to improve soft skills and networking.
In conclusion, the first Projekt Hansa youth conference provided a promising platform to engage youth with knowledge and skills to strengthen both business and cultural ties within Europe.
By Kelly-Ann Fonderson – Get in touch via Linkedin
On 8-9 December 2018, the 10th Diaspora Development Dialogue (DDD10) on ‘The role of the African Diaspora as catalyst for sustainable development in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration’ (GCM) took place in Marrakesh, Morocco to coincide with the Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit and the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The conference was organised by the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT), in collaboration with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs (MDCMREAM), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), the Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (CCME) and the Forum des Organisations de Solidarité Internationale issues des Migrations (FORIM). The two-days event provided a space for a diverse range of representatives, from NGOs to senior government officials, to communicate on ways to improve the African diaspora contributions to the GCM implementation.
ACP YPN was represented by Ariane Takyi, whose presence ensured that the voice of youth was recognised during key deliberations and exchanges on a vast number of topics related to the conference’s theme. Participants contributed to the production of a 10 points declaration on ‘The role of the African Diaspora as a catalyst for sustainable development in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration.’