ACP YPN at the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit

On 9th-11th October, ACP YPN co-organised the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit, in collaboration with ADYNE,  ADYFE, the Network of International Youth Organisations in Africa, the Pan-African Youth Union, and the European Youth Forum, with input from the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. ACP YPN was represented by Yentyl Williams ACP YPN President and Founder; Celine Fabrequette ACP YPN Secretary General & SDGs #5 expert; Bora Kamwanya ACP YPN Parliamentary Relations Advisor and June Lacour, ACP YPN Programme Coordinator. The Summit brought together 120 youth from Africa and Europe, as well as the diaspora, to discuss and develop concrete solutions to issues affecting youth on both continents on the following six thematic areas: (i) education & skills, (ii) peace & security, (iii) governance & inclusion, (iv) environment & climate, (v) business & job creation, and (vi) culture & arts. During the summit, ACP YPN alongside ADYNE and ADYFE took the opportunity to exchange and explain the importance and “need to leverage the unique potential of the Diaspora Youth to inspire and channel positive change and effective cooperation between Africa and Europe”. The Summit concluded with the Abidjan Youth Declaration, which is available here.

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The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit aimed to strengthen the role of young people in the political process preparing the 5th AU-EU Summit, 29-30 November in Abidjan, for which the theme is ‘Investing in Youth’. Recognising the importance of this upcoming Summit, as well as the upcoming ACP-EU post-Cotonou negotiations, the Abidjan Youth Declaration is a balanced and cross-sectoral declaration which builds on previous recommendations made by ACP YPN, such as the ACP YPN St Julian Action plan, the ACP YPN Nairobi Declaration, the ACP YPN response to the EU consultation on future EU-ACP relations, and other advocacy work. The Abidjan Youth Declaration reaffirms the fact that Youth in Africa, Europe, Caribbean and Pacific, including the diaspora, face similar struggles and have identified similar solutions to solve it. It also reaffirms and directly spells out the importance of formal including Youth organisations in institutional cooperation, specifically in the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies and initiatives. In order to achieve this, the Abidjan Youth Declaration calls upon the Head of States and institutions to integrate the provision of financial support for effective youth cooperation in their agreement.

Following on from the Summit, over the next five weeks running up to the AU-EU Heads of State Summit, Yentyl Williams, President and Founder of ACP YPN has been selected to be part of the AU-EU Youth Plug-In initiative. For the first time, 36 youth delegates are involved in this unprecedented initiative to move beyond words to actions by developing concrete proposals from the Abidjan Youth Declaration, working between Addis Ababa and Brussels, to ultimately present the action points to the Heads of State at the 5th AU-EU Summit.

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