On 25th July 2017, the African Union (AU) mission to the EU held it first meeting of the newly inaugurated AU Diaspora Youth Task Force (AU-DY-TF). Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Parliamentary Relations Expert and Aissatou Touré, Expert in Sustainable agriculture and development, represented ACP YPN. They were joined by an expert cohort, including African Union’s (AU) officer Philip Bob Jusu, Mohammed Iglueh Ofleh, Elias Network, and African Diaspora youth organizations such as Africa Communications Week (AfricaCommsWeek), African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe (Adyfe), African Diaspora Network in Europe (ADNE), AfricanGist, Be Proud asbl, Cafrikap, Cercle des Etudiants Congolais de Louvain-la-Neuve (CEC LLN), Empower‘her Network, HISHI, Jeunesse Ubuntu, YABS network, and Women Intech Africa on the subject how to bring the African youth diaspora closer to the African Union.
Bora and Aïssatou raised four points relating to the need of (1) a comprehensive inclusion of the Diaspora, (2) inclusion of a partnership with the Pan African Youth Union, (3) the implementation of the previous signed charters and (4) the prioritizing if key technical groups.
- There should be a clear definition of ‘Diaspora’ in order to better identify the opportunities to better engage the AU and diaspora youth. In particular, Bora raised the idea of creating a database and of organising an African Youth Day.
- There should be a strong link between the AU-DY-TF and the Pan African Youth Union.
- The diaspora youth should be engaged on both the implementation and the monitoring of signed charters at national level.
- Technical groups to facilitate the work of the AU-DY-TF should cover areas such as media, events and internships, policy and advocacy, as well as a cross cutting group e.g. on youth and gender issues.
ACP YPN welcomes this exciting initiative to create better links between the AU headquarters and the youth of the AU’s sixth region, the Diaspora.
By Aïssatou Touré