ACP YPN Expert on Youth Inclusion in T&T’S Budget Debate

On 01 October 2018, the presentation of the National Budget of Trinidad and Tobago was delivered. The debate on the Appropriation Bill is currently ongoing, having moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate.


Young professional Aurelia Bruce was on hand at local news station TV6 to give initial views on the presentation delivered by the Minister of Finance earlier that afternoon in the Budget Presentation. As part of a panel that included other young persons, Bruce outlined some of the expectations she had for areas of government expenditure in 2019 and highlighted areas where increased focus should be placed to advance economic and social development. This included opportunities for youth engagement in economic activity.

One of the key concerns raised by Bruce is the limited engagement of youth in policy making, and in this context on issues of debt and development. As she noted in the discussion “any discussion on debt or development must include youth, as it is on their backs that the debt is incurred and on their backs development will be sought and will be brought.”

Other areas she highlighted in the discussion included the need for a holistic approach to the fight against crime, commending the government for the increased inclusion and use of technology in the Police Service. On the other hand however, Bruce highlighted the need for institutional development and capacity building in other areas such as the Coast Guard, Prisons, Judiciary, Customs and Excise and other agencies. In this way, crime prevention, detection and justice would be enhanced and the flow of illegal weapons and drugs will be stymied.

On the issues of revenue generation, trade, development and diversification, Bruce noted that the time for diversification is now and that it would be a betrayal of future generations if the country was unable to execute a successful diversification project. In her view, supporting new industries and growth in the non-energy sector (as oil and gas remains the mainstay of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy) is critical.

The budget debate will be concluded in early November. As the debate continues in Parliament, Bruce will continue the discussion on the National Budget 2019 on her youth-centered podcast “SOAPBOX” in the coming weeks.


Get to know Expert Aurelia Bruce:

Working at the intersection of business, government and the international economy, Bruce is an international trade researcher working with a Trade and Business Support Organization. She has spent a considerable amount of time conducting policy reviews and analysis on issues affecting the business environment and assessing challenges to compliance or use of fiscal, trade and legal measures and regulations. Bruce has the added experience of conducting trade research in the Caribbean and in Canada and has done research on African and Pacific nations. Passionate about regional integration and development she hopes to positively contribute to the Caribbean integration movement. One way of doing so is through her vocation in trade policy and in particular the development of Caribbean creative and cultural industries. She graduated from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, with a Master’s degree in International Trade Policy (Distinction) and a BSc. in Political Science with Law (Hons). Bruce is also an alumni of the Government of Canada Emerging Leaders of the Americas Program and the United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program.


By Aurelia Bruce – Get in touch via Linkedin or Email

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ACP YPN Launch Black History Month EU (#BHMEU)


BLACK HISTORY MONTH EU 2018 (#BHMEU) brings a month of Black History awareness to the EU bubble! We are excited to present a number of events run by the ACP YPN Brussels team, and feature our partners events across the month. The flyer below features all the amazing events coming up this October! Follow the hyperlinks below the picture for more information about our events! We hope to see you there!

BHMEU schedule

Thursday 4 October, 09h30-17h00 – Encouraging and facilitating African Diaspora Youth Entrepreneurship – Towards Accelerated inclusive growth and Sustainable Development (AU Mission to the EU and ACP group of countries) at La Chatelain Hotel, Rue Du Chatelain 17*

Friday 5 October, 09h00-17h00 – Global diaspora week (African Diaspora Network in Europe) at EU Parliament *

Thursday 4 October, 15h00-16h30 – Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development in sub-Saharan Africa ( Future Climate For Africa), Online*

Tuesday 9 October, 10h00-18h00 – Migration in the EU-ACP partnership after 2020 (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung) invitation only.

Tuesday 9 October, 18h30-21h00 – ACP Young Professionals Network Social Networking (ACP YPN) at Radisson Blu**

Tuesday 9 October – The role of religious actors in conflict prevention, management & resolution (KAS & EPP) Register by 3rd Oct. via*

Wednesday 10 October, 11h00-18h00 – Platforma 10th anniversary: Decentralisation & Africa (Platforma) at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium*

Thursday 11 October, 17h30-21h30 – Apero in Red (La Senegauloise)

Tuesday 16 October, 18h30-21h00 – ACP Youth in Institutions (ACP YPN).**

Saturday 20 October, 13h00-15h30 – Dance class: Afro-Beat (Dance on the move) at Fred Academy*

Tuesday 23 October, 18h30-20h00 – Why are there so few women in tech? (Womenquake) at Google Belgium HQ*

Tuesday 25 October, 18h00-20h00 – Digital inclusion and entrepreneurship : opportunities and challenges for youth of African descents (ACP YPN).**

Thursday, 25 October, 14h00-16h00 – CSO Exchange on Joint Valletta Action Plan Senior Officials Meeting (EEAS) on Invitation only

Tuesday 30 October, 18h00-20h00 – PAD Youth in Politics: Recommendations for Inclusive Organisation (ACP YPN) **

#ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU. RSVP and share!!

*registration required

**registration required and available through EventBrite links on our Facebook page


By ACP YPN team

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ACP YPN Expert at Montego Bay Meetings with Mayor and Councillor

On Friday 28th September 2018, Asia La Chapelle Williams (SDG 11&13 Expert) held a meeting with the Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis and Councillor Richard Vernon to discuss the redevelopment of the market district in the city centre. The meeting was focused on how to create a safe and socially inclusive community space that integrates green infrastructure with community artwork and provides well designed spaces for small traders to sell local produce.

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Some of the main recommendations include:

  1. Encouraging secure by design principles as part of the creation of a new urban space;
  2.  Effective community engagement during two periods of market activity; during a busy operating period such as a festival, weekends or Christmas and compare this to normal market activity to measure potential uplift from improvements to the area and gauge what the community want from the project;
  3. Ensure sustainability is a fundamental element of the market redesign including socially inclusive ‘one community for all’ redesign, economically inclusive by facilitating a range of providers to operate in the area and sell local produce from Montego Bay, St. Elizabeth, St. James, Hanover and surrounding regions and environmentally sustainable by reducing flood risk, improving green infrastructure and open space and improving waste management.

In conclusion, to deliver a successful project from the initial concept and options analysis through to detailed design and construction, the main themes identified were sustainability and community engagement. These strategies will further be defined and the community will be brought on board through consultation to support the creation of an economically thriving market district that provides a place to be proud of.

By Asia Williams – Get in touch via Linkedin:

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ACP YPN recommendation in the EYE Report 2018

On 27th September 2018, the European Youth Event’s (EYE) Report was published including a key recommendation from ACP YPN delegate Rhody-Ann Thorpe. The EYE report features 100 ideas discussed at the EYE, where ACP YPN led their second delegation and hosted an event on ‘Youth and Trade’ at the European Parliament (June 2018, see here). Rhody-Ann Thorpe’s recommendation called for: relaxed visa policies for ACP member states, especially in the Caribbean space – something she says can also foster a more « EUnified » ACP.

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Rhody-Ann Thorpe (center) at the European Youth Event held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in June 2018. [Photo credit: ACP YPN]

Rhody-Ann put forward the recommendation that relaxed visa policies would encourage greater mobility for nationals of ACP countries and would ultimately grant them access to educational and professional opportunities in countries of the EU. More specifically regarding the Caribbean, relaxed visa policies would foster a greater sense of cohesion in the region as it would demolish the barriers that visa restrictions have erected between CARICOM countries and the European overseas departments and territories. It ultimately will provide an avenue for further exchanges, including the establishment of new airline routes between Europe and the Caribbean and which facilitate intra-regional travel. Were visa policies relaxed for ACP countries, it would also influence secondary and higher education policies to put an even greater emphasis on foreign language acquisition, an asset which is indispensable for the personal and professional development of today’s youth.

Rhody underlined that in the present ACP-EU ‘Cotonou’ Partnership Agreement, ACP and EU member states jointly declare their commitment to strengthening and deepening their dialogue and cooperation with regards to legal migration including admission, mobility and movement of skills and services. However, while EU nationals can travel to all ACP countries without a visa, only five (5) Caribbean states are presently privy to short stay visa-waiver agreements with the EU. This therefore not only hinders inter EU-ACP mobility but also regional integration in the Caribbean where French and Dutch overseas departments and territories share a common space.

In conclusion, given the forthcoming post-Cotonou negotiations, the post-Cotonou provisions on migration and visa regulations must be equitable in order to reflect a partnership between equally sovereign statesother pic

Rhody-Ann Thorpe Representing ACP YPN 

Background on mobility & the ACP-EU Partnership:

The ACP group and EU enjoy a partnership founded upon three pillars: development cooperation, political cooperation, and economic and trade cooperation. The 20-year partnership came into effect in 2000 and has since been revised to include provisions on climate change, regional integration among other challenges. As this agreement comes to term in the very near future and in light of the negotiations to be had on a Post-Cotonou framework, it is imperative to return to the certain aspects of the current agreement which need to be address, such as the lack of reciprocity with regards to visa regulations.

By Rhody Ann Thorpe – Get in touch with Rhody-Ann via LinkedIn

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ACP YPN at the AU Youth Exchange Ideation Dialogue Forum, Gaborone

On 2-4th September 2018, Fon Brunstead, ACP YPN Expert, was selected as one of 55 young African leaders amongst thousands of applicants to attend the  African Union‘s (AU) Youth Exchange Ideation Dialogue Forum, an African – German (GIZ) Youth Initiative in Gaborone, Botswana. The Forum was based on a consultative and participatory framework whereby youth participants debated, reflected on solutions to build an action plan to address the challenges affecting youth exchanges and volunteerism on the African continent. The topics of the discussion panels were in line with Agenda 2063 – Africa’s strategic document for socio-economic transformation which upholds a vision for increased youth mobility, partnership and engagement. ACP-YPN activities are directly connected to these themes, thus its representation at the forum was essential.

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During a stakeholder mapping activity, the role of government and the importance to increase private sector partnerships was recognised as being effective for designing sustainable exchange programs. Within this session, Fon stimulated discussions by insisting on the importance of institutions in designing inclusive policies and creating a tolerant environment to nurture the culture of civic engagement. He referenced on Article 26 of the Cotonou Agreement and Articles 10 & 11 of the African Youth Charter to commend for increased youth inclusiveness in designing cooperation agreements and national policies; a cause which is central to the ACP YPN’s objectives. Notwithstanding the role of national institutions, strong emphasis were also laid on the relevance of strengthening partnerships between youth-led organisations and the private sector (companies, small and medium enterprises, trade unions and multinationals). Six key solution areas were developed by the youth participants:

  1. – Building partnerships to develop exchange programs and enhance potential outreach and impact;
  2. Including “People Differently Abled” (PDA’s) within exchange program networks
  3. Providing accessibility and increasing the participation of rural youths into exchange programs;
  4. Maximising program impact through host organisations’ pre and post deployment support for volunteers;
  5. Improving host organisations’ follow-up capacity of volunteers through effective Monitoring, evaluation and feedback systems;
  6. Enhancing young women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services during youth exchange programs. In addition, Fon stressed on the necessity to educate more men about women’s rights and on the advantages of information technology and digitalisation in sharing opportunities and information.

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In conclusion, the Forum demonstrated the importance of taking into consideration the aspirations of Africa’s youth and the collective efforts of every single stakeholder in the process of building an integrated and prosperous continent. It also marked a milestone in youth policy by putting youths at the forefront of decision making and increasing the possibilities for young people in both formal and informal sectors to have equal access to capacity building opportunities. However, the forum also revealed the need for increased partnerships and for the improvement of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems within exchange programs. In this regard, the ACP-YPN strengthens its commitment to increasing youth partnerships through the continuous fostering of youth exchanges and dialogues.

By Fon Brunstead – Get in touch with Fon on LinkedIn.

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ACP YPN at The Global Landscapes Forum, Nairobi

On 29-30 August 2018, ACP YPN Expert Caroline Kawira participated in The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Nairobi at the United Nations (UN) compound in Gigiri. Caroline was one of one thousand participants that were present in person and another 13,380 were tuned in online.Prior to GLF Nairobi, a youth conference was held which brought about 100 youth conservation leaders together for a 4 week online training which culminated in a 2 day training in Nairobi preceding the GLF from the 27-28th August 2018. (You can get to know these youth leaders!) The most important outcomes from the youth conference was the need to define restoration readiness and consequently, to build a framework for restoration readiness. The youth training focused on 3 values: integrity, innovation and partnership.

GLF Nairobi focused on prospects and opportunities for restoration in Africa, namely on the political and financial support and capacity-building using a full range of global, national, regional and local insights on policy and practice. The aims of GLF Nairobi were:

  1. Leveraging and deepening existing networks, particularly at the regional level.
  2. Demonstrating that food security and environmental degradation are not mutually exclusive by balancing the long and short terms concerns.
  3. Integrating the rights and resources of communities, vulnerable groups and smallholders into the vision of sustainable longer term.

Several institutions were present from Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research institutions (CGIAR), UN bodies, regional and international government representatives, international financial institutions, academia, private businesses, scholars, NGOs, conservation institutions and many more. Notably, there was a focus on community conservation during the forum with a high attendance of institutions and people who are engaging in community conservation.

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There was also a very high representation of institutions promoting restoration through the planting of trees. One eye-catching approach used by Vi Agroforestry allowed participants an opportunity to virtually plant a tree on a map of Africa and Vi Agroforestry promised to plant that tree in reality in one of their operation areas. Visitors to their stand planted 168 trees during the first day. Another impressive feature of the forum was a performance by Rocky Dawuni, a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Ghana. He was also designated as the Regional Goodwill Ambassador at the evening of celebrations during the close GLF Nairobi on Thursday, August 30, 2018. (Watch his performance here)


By Caroline Kawira – Get in touch with Caroline on LinkedIn 

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ACP YPN at UN HLPF 2018, New York

On 9-18 July, Arnaud Szanto, ACP YPN’s Partnership and Capacity Building Officer and Brent Robinson, ACP YPN Expert, participated in the 4th United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN Headquarters in New York. Arnaud represented the organization, which gained member status of the UN Major Group on Children and Youth (UN MGCY) earlier this year (see here). This year’s theme of #HLPF2018 : “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.


Brent Robinson, ACP YPN delegate (left) and Arnaud Szanto

H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of Economic and Social Council opened the #HLPF2018, which included 600 side events, 2500 registrations from NGOs, 80 ministers and vice ministers attending, 47 countries presenting their voluntary national review, and six SDGs being discussed (6,7, 11, 12, 15 and 17). H.E. Ms. Chatardová recalled the HLPF’s central role in promoting sustainable development at the international level and insisted on mobilizing our society through inclusive and democratic participation for the purpose of achieving the 2030 Agenda. ACP YPN has been promoting inclusive participation, under SDG16.7 in all of its activities, and was honoured to be represented for the first time at the HLPF.

Arnaud participated in a number of sessions at the HLPF, including 3 HLPF 2018 Thematic reviews -(i) Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies – Small Island Developing States perspective; (ii)  the Review on Perspective of Least Developing Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Middle-Income Countries (MICs); (iii) Review of SDG implementation: SDG 12 – Sustainable consumption and production patterns (SCP)6 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on implementing the SDGs – by (i) The Commonwealth of Bahamas; (ii) The Republic of Benin; (iii) The Republic of Cape Verde;  (iv) The Republic of Guinea; (v) Jamaica; (vi) The Republic of Namibia – as well as 5 side events by international partners on: (i) Vanishing Waters and Drying Lands: Impacts on Migration;  (ii) Implementing SDG 12: One Plan for One Planet; (iii) Monitoring SDGs, claiming rights and meaningful participation : Strategies and tools for civil society; (iv) Safe food for sustainable and resilient societies; (v) Better trade 4 SDGs.

Arnaud shared the work of ACP YPN, interacted with key stakeholders and also gave input to the development of UN MGCY positions at the HLPF2018. For example, Arnaud assisted in the preparation of the UN MGCY’sSDG 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainablestatement that was later presented to Member States at the UN ECOSOC. During this, Arnaud stressed the need to (i) strengthen the development of policies that would allow young people to be aware of their cultural heritage through cultural programmes that promote intercultural dialogue and (ii) to provide opportunities to young entrepreneurs to impact the local development of their regions and communities, across all relevant sectors (agriculture, industry, services, etc.) in order for them to contribute effectively to the development of resilient, safe and sustainable cities and communities.  Such policy initiatives can reinforce social bonds, and in turn, this would create value in the context of achieving the SDGs. This is also linked to facilitating the creation and maintenance of multi-stakeholders synergies (international institutions and civil society organization, businesses, universities and others) through enabling participation and partnerships. ACP YPN has been pioneering these synergies since its inception, in particular, in relation to partnership WITH youth (see p.7-9 here) and promoting the new ‘Public-Private-Academic-Partnership’ paradigm (PPAP, see here). As Arnaud put it, “achieving the Agenda 2030 is more than just words, it’s about making sure every child on the planet can still dream of a better future.  This can only be guaranteed if everyone is part of the process.”  

    Arnaud Szanto and UN Secreatary General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake

In conclusion, this was a unique opportunity to make sure that the voice, opinions and examples of initiatives being implemented by ACP youth are represented at this high-level Forum. Moreover, given the importance of achieving the SDGs, it is important that all stakeholders are effectively contributing to achieve the SDGs. As Liu Zhenmin, Head of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, rightfully said: “we still have twelve more years to fulfill the transformative 2030 Agenda. These goals are within our reach, it will, however, require an unwavering attention, a laser-sharp focus on the implementation of these goals and a true sense of urgency.”

UN Major Group on Children and Youth

What is the HLPF? The High Level Political Forum is an international platform for discussion on how everyone can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Through collective ideas, solutions and innovations, members of government, youth-led organizations, civil society, academia and other international organization members explored ways to progress on the six SDGs  (6,7, 11, 12, 15 and 17) under review this year. In addition to this, 47 countries have presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) with the aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Representatives included top universities, specialists, CEOs of companies, Major Groups, Members of government and NGOs also joined with the objective to share their knowledge, their stories and struggles, to discuss transformation and express their ideas on how to build sustainable and resilient societies while making sure no one is left behind. See more here.


By Arnaud Szanto – Get in touch with Arnaud on LinkedIn Twitter.

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ACP YPN on the Internationalisation of Local Governance, Paris

On 4th July 2018, Aïssatou Touré, ACP YPN Public Policy Advisor, was invited at the 9th edition of the Meeting for Internationalisation of local governments (Rencontres de l’internationalisation des collectivités territoriales) co-organised by Cités Unies France in Paris with several speakers including Frank Tiotsop, Youth Ambassador, OFAJ ( the International Organisation for Franco-German cooperation on youth), who presented the AKI tool for youth mobility.

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The event gathered French & foreign local governments as well as public and private partners under this year theme ” Faced with the challenges of a growing urbanisation, what’s the place of local governments  ? What’s our vision of a 2030 world? What’s our SDG approach ?“. During the Youth & Employability Panel, Aïssatou Touré demonstrated how projects integrating young people are a necessity in finding solutions for issues impacting them directly and indirectly through several points linked to her expertise with (1) ACP YPN and as an (2) African Union – European Union Youth Plug In Initiative (AU-EU YPII) fellow :

  1. Aïssatou introduced ACP YPN as a youth-led platform aiming at providing a platform for young people to play an active role in policy-making processes  assuring equality of opportunity in line with Article 26 of the legally binding Cotonou Partnership Agreement and aiming to ensure inclusive, responsive decision-making at all levels as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16.7.

a. She then, focused on ACP YPN’s specificity in particular 1) the creation of the Youth Forums at the ACP- EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly allowing young people to exchange with more than 100 representatives of the ACP-EU partnership and 2) the fact that ACP YPN is the only youth network with a formal role as a member of the EU- Cariforum Consultative Committee monitoring the EU’s trade agreement with Caribbean region.

b. She concluded by sharing with the audience the important role of ACP YPN in providing her a space that contributed to the realisation of her personal and professional projects , allowing her to deepen her expertise in development cooperation and to learn new skills including soft skills that are being valued in the employment sector.


 2. Aïssatou presented the AU- EU YPII as an innovative initiative that gathered in October 2017 during 5 weeks 36 young people from Africa, Europe and the Diaspora working together in 6 different cluster in 3 different cities (Addis Abeba, Brussels and Abidjan) to present specific projects in the Youth Agenda delivered to the Head of States during the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan. She mentioned 4 projects of  the Governance and political inclusion cluster:

a. CityShapers: working on city twinning from the United Cities and Local Governments, this project aims at integrating the youth in local governance and decentralised cooperation allowing co-creation, synergies strengthening between authorities, experts and young people from Africa and Europe while including joint learning on solutions to urban, social, ecological and governance challenges.

b. E-ncludeMe: this digital tool aspires to reinforce local government’s responsibility and accountability while reducing corruption, week governance, tax avoidance, illicit financial flows and including youth to identify and implement concrete action plans.

c. AU-EU Remittances Transfer Platform: this platform reduces transfer costs in remittances in line with SDG 10C via a Public Private Partnership (PPP). A share of the profit will be invested in youth related projects reinforcing inclusion and job creation.

d. Youth Lab: a permanent cooperation hub for AU-EU youth testing technical, urban and rural solutions on both continents while implementing and monitoring the projects developed in the 6 clusters of the AU-EU YPII Youth Agenda.

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In conclusion of this Youth & Employability Panel, Aïssatou recalled the necessity to include young people in finding solutions for issues that directly impacts them such as employability and she took in example two great initiatives (one in France, one in Senegal) working in this direction :

  • Les déterminés is an entrepreneurship organization training, supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs including those from poorest and rural areas in the region of Paris allowing young people to contribute in job creation.
  • Voix des jeunes founded by Sobel Aziz Ngom, this project is a competition for young people fostering the creation of solutions to actual challenges. The selected young people have to debate on specific issues and deliver realistic solutions for those issues while stimulating their civic engagement and allowing them to develop analytic, argumentative and strategist skills among other skills.

These initiatives all highlight the fact that innovation in youth inclusion can be done in two ways:

  1. By creating permanent spaces, mechanisms for young people within existing institutions (JPA Youth Forum, CityShapers).
  2. Or by creating  new institutions/structures for young people to access spaces they couldn’t allowing them to share their expertise on diverse issues (E-NcludeMe, AU-EU Youth Lab, Les déterminés, Voix des jeunes).


By Aïssatou Touré – Get in touch with Aïssatou on LinkedIn Twitter.

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ACP YPN celebrates the 1st ACP Youth Day

On 26th June, ACP YPN celebrated the 1st African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Youth Day to commemorate the anniversary of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), and the birth of Article 26 (CPA) on ‘youth affairs’ signed in Cotonou, Benin on 23rd June 2000. 37401881_1858397144456886_7393162291639746560_o(1)

ACP YPN proclaimed the 23rd June as the ACP Youth Day to highlight, celebrate and promote the role of young people of ACP origin in contributing actively to a more diverse, gender-equal, environmentally-friendly, sustainable world. During this celebration, ACP YPN honoured those who have supported ACP YPN’s activities – as a youth-led platform aiming at providing a permanent space for young people to play an active role in decision-making processes (SDG16.7) – and those who inspire and support young people of ACP origin in accomplishing their projects, in line with the ambitions of Article 26 CPA.

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For the first edition of ACP Youth Day, ACP YPN presented 7 awardees with the Certificate for Youth Empowerment:

  1. Isolina Boto, Manager of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Brussels office, for her dedication to the EU-ACP partnership and for actively promoting and supporting the expertise of ACP young experts, women and civil society in the field of agriculture.
  2. Guy Stinglhamber, Delegate General of the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP), for his role pioneering inclusive partnerships with ACP YPN, capacity building support and finance to ACP YPN’s missions.
  3. Brenda King MBE, Member of the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC) and Founder and Director of African-Caribbean Diversity (AC Diversity), for her role mentoring ACP YPN leadership, and supporting ACP YPN’s work on youth and trade at the EESC.
  4. Marie- Chantal Uwitonze, Founder and President of the African Diaspora Network-Europe (ADNE),being a role model in the diaspora-development nexus through her work promoting the role of diaspora in international dialogues.
  5. Irene Hvass, Policy officer at the European External Action Service (EEAS), for her actions and support on youth issues, particularly related to the 4th EU-Africa Youth Summit & the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative.
  6. Rok Kozelj, Administrator in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) unit of the European Parliament (EP), for his commitment to integrating youth in the JPA and supporting ACP YPN to launch and co-organise the JPA Youth Forums.
  7. Celine Fabrequette, for her contribution in developing and expanding the activities of ACP YPN, in particular for her role as organiser of the ACP YPN’s first delegation to the European Youth Event & ACP YPN’s co-organisation of the 4th EU-Africa Youth Summit.

ACP Youth Day shall continue to be held annually on 23rd June. To see more photos from the event, have a look at our Facebook page here. And, for advice on how to celebrate ACP Youth day where you are, get in touch with us!

By Aïssatou Touré – Get in touch with Aïssatou on LinkedIn Twitter.

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ACP YPN at the European Development Days (EDD) 2018

On the 5th and 6th June 2018, for the third time, African Caribbean Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN) sent a delegation of 14 ACP YPN Youth Ambassadors to the twelfth 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 One Young World, Young Mediterranean Voices, Alliance of Youth Empowerment, EDD Young Leaders and Faces2Hearts.

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 Queen Matilde of Belgium, Queen Letizia of Spain, Commissioner Neven Mimica of the Directorate-General for international cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Jayathma Wickramanayake UN Envoy on Youth,  Artist and Business leader Youssou N’dour and and Dr Denis Mukwege, Congolese gynaecologist and world leading expert on internal physical damage  caused by gang-rape.

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ACP YPN participated and organized several activities during the two-day event at the Youth Lounge including engaging with EDD participants on youth issues and launching a survey on ACP Women in Trade :

1. On Tuesday the 5th, Aïssatou Touré, ACP YPN Public Policy Advisor presented the role, missions, and activities of ACP YPN in line with article 26 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal 16.7 ensuring decision-making at all levels during the « Pitch Your Organization » activity organized by One Young World.

2. With One Young World, ACP YPN co-organized a Networking Drinks Event to meet worldwide fellow young leaders to learn more about other youth-led organizations and activities.

3. On Wednesday the 6th, ACP YPN organized the « Dance for Emporwerment » workshop starring Sarah Amaro from Kizomba Love, that aimed at bringing together EDD participants in full contact with their role as actors of their destiny through dance. They were able to engage through movement on the topics of the vital role of women and the need for their full and equal participation and leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The ACP YPN delegation for the 2018 EDD edition included:

  1. Yentyl Williams, Founder and Director of ACP YPN
  2. Aïssatou Touré, ACP YPN Public Policy Advisor
  3. Adelaide Hirwe, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  4. Kelly- Ann Fonderson, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  5. Akosua Osei-Loué (HRH), ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  6. André Gbedan, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  7. Ariane Takyi, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  8. Cwanche Bleneau Cedric Bieleu, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  9. Fatiau Teikausi, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  10. Gilberto Morishaw  , ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  11. Marianne Nguenna, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  12. Pearce Robinson, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  13. Sarah Gane, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador
  14. Stefan Haenen, ACP YPN Youth Ambassador


By Aïssatou Touré – Get in touch with Aïssatou on LinkedIn Twitter.

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