ACP YPN ECDPM publication: Renewing the EU-Africa Partnership vis-à-vis youth

ACP YPN’s President, Yentyl Williams, and ACP YPN Secretary General published the article “How to renew the EU-Africa Partnership through transcontinental youth networks” in the European Centre for Development Policy and Management’s Great Insights magazine (Nov/Dec. 2017). The publication is available here.

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The authors set the context: the African Union (AU) declared 2017 the ‘year of harnessing the demographic dividend through Investments in Youth’ and the European Union (EU) renewed its Youth Strategy; and this is timely given the focus of the AU-EU Heads of State Summit on ‘youth’ (November 2017). While they recognise that the Summit on ‘youth’ is a unique opportunity to place youth integration and inclusion in policy and decision-making processes, they do underline the challenges: the new strategy must be innovative, visionary and dedicated.

First, the renewed partnership must be innovative through the development of joint objectives to ensure young people play an active role in the decision-making and the implementation of the partnership.

Second, it must be visionary by going beyond mere strengthening of relations on a nation-to-nation or region-to-region basis, but also through horizontal and vertical cooperation with youth civil society to support the reframing of social, economic and political values.

Third, it should be dedicated to harness the already innovative initiatives that young people are implementing to empower their peers – be it on entrepreneurship, education and political engagement – to bring a transformative change to our societies, which can adequately prepare us for the global and common concerns of our generations.

In sum, they underline that strong partnership with youth organisations, including youth civil society and youth diaspora organisations, will be key for the revitalisation of the EU-Africa partnership. The article references several of ACP YPN’s landmark achievements to bring youth to the heart of the partnership, notably via the establishment of the Youth Forum at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly; via ACP YPN’s role monitoring the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as members of the EU-Cariforum Consultative Committee; as advisors to the AU Youth Advisory Board & the Diaspora Youth Task Force; as well as it’s co-organisation of the 4th Africa-EU Youth Summit.

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