On 24th October, Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Policy and Advocacy Officer presented “The role of diaspora – supporting development & empowerment” at the World Solidarity Forum’s conference on “Active citizens tackling EU and international crises.” This Press Café initiative is part of a Networking series where each participant has the opportunity to join a thematic discussion circle and rotate every 20minutes. This is the second such even that ACP has had the pleasure of taking part in.
In his presentation Bora explained the ACP YPN mission, goals and achievements. Then, he introduced the challenges that young ACP diaspora face in the EU context, with particular reference to his own situation as a migrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bora highlighted four particular challenges:
- Social inclusion in the EU. ACP YPN actively advances social inclusion in the EU through our landmark initiatives to take the first delegation of ACP youth to the European Youth Event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and to include ACP youth at European Development Days with the European Commission, speaking alongside the UN.
- Implementation of Article 26 of the Cotonou Agreement. Youth must not be forgotten in ACP relations and that is why we remind the EU and the ACP to implement Article 26 on youth issues. Indeed, this informs everything we do, from sharing our experiences as diaspora in Europe at the African Union Heads of States summit to giving recommendations to the European Parliament committees.
- Recognition of the colonial heritage in the EU, and the shared history between European states and ACP states. That is why we partner with the diaspora organisations in universities across the European Union and with ACP regional youth networks to ensure coherence in our actions.
- Recognition of ACP diplomas and certificates in the EU. This is why at ACP YPN we are working on contributing to European Parliament legislation on Erasmus+, working actively with the European Youth Forum and the European Economic and Social Committee to encourage true exchange for international students.
The Q&A session was particularly powerful as many participants, who recognised themselves as either a migrant or an expat, understood and also experienced similar challenges to youth of ACP diaspora. In Bora’s words, “I would like to thanks Neringa and her team because this was an enriching experience, the debates were fruitful and the people professional. I will firmly say that at the Networking Lunch, citizens of the world exchanged ideas on how to put the word ‘Humane’ back in ‘Humanity.’”
By Mr. Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Advocacy and Policy Officer