On 25-27 September, ACP YPN co-hosted and co-organised the S&D Africa week’s Africa-EU Youth workshop bringing together 25 young people from both continents as part of the 2nd S&D Africa week in the European Parliament in Brussels. The participants discussed the theme ‘The Youth Vision for the Future Africa-EU Partnership‘ and drew up the S&D Group Africa Week 2017 Youth Declaration, which will be presented to the EU-AU Heads of State Summit in November, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast by Gianni Pittella, President of the S&D group of the European Parliament.
The first day of the workshop was divided into four thematic clusters. The first session addressed the issue of “Africa’s Demographic Boom & Europe’s Demographic Demise?- A Chance or a Disaster? Sexual and reproductive health and rights – Access to health information, religion and culture: Who decides?” The session was moderated by MEP Maria Arena – S&D Group Coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and an introduction to the topic was given by Gina Wharton, ACP YPN Expert on SRHR and Advocacy Advisor at IPPF Europe Network.
The second session focused on “Root causes of internal and external migration: Challenges and the way forward: Conflict, economy and climate change“. The session was moderated by MEP Cécile Kyenge – Vice-President of the ACP_EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and introductory remarks to the subject was presented by Tarila Marclint Ebiede, ACP YPN Migration Expert.
The third session focused on “Youth employment: over-skilled, under-skilled or clientalism? Education, brain drain and entrepreneurship“. The session was moderated by MEP – Silvia Costa, S&D Group coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education, and introductory remarks were made on the role of entrepreneurship and education having positive impacts on youth employment by Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN President and Trade Expert.
Lastly, the fourth session focused on “Youth involvement in politics and public discourse: Good governance, transparency and accountability“. The session was moderated by MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-President of the S&D Group and introductory remarks by June Paskalina Lacour, ACP YPN Expert and Project Coordinator. The second day was spent drafting the Declaration and a presentation of the main points discussed was made by the rapporteurs and special rapporter during the S&D group meeting on the third day of the workshop.
Besides the workshop, ACP YPN also contributed to the Foundation for Progressive European Studies (FEPS)–SOLIDAR Millenial’s Dialogue, where Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Parliamentary Advisor spoke on “Africa at a Crossroads: Youth Political Mobilisation, Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly”. Bora presented alongside Serigne Bbodj, Researcher at the Imagine Africa Institue and Alphonse Muambi, Author and Expert on African elections & democracy, and the panel was chaired by Maria Freitas, Policy Advisor at FEPS.
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