ACP YPN feat. in Euractiv News

On 18th May 2017, Euractiv news featured Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder and President, following her presentation to the European Economic and Social Committee on the future of EU-ACP relations. The full article can be found here.


The article entitled, “ACP youth leader: The ‘EU bubble’ is not very multicultural” is based on an interview on the EU-ACP new generation trade agreements – the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) – as well as her experience as a Trinidadian-British young woman educated at the College of Europe and working with the EU and ACP institutions.

Contact & follow Yentyl Williams via LinkedIn or Twitter

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ACP YPN at South-South & Triangular Entrepreneurship Forum

On 21-23 June, Sinouhe Monteiro, ACP YPN Entrepreneurship Expert, SDG10 and Founder of Ewala – the mobile money transfer service – presented at FINPORTUGAL, the International Forum and Business Fair for Entrepreneurs from Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries.

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Sinouhe Monteiro is Founder of Ewala and Expert at the African Caribbean and Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN). In 2015, Sinouhe decided to launch Ewala, the prepaid mobile phone recharging service provider, which is now being used globally in 140 countries. Ewala’s mission is to enable better mobile connectivity and they achieve this by connecting 500 operators worldwide. Innovating the world of airtime transfers has led to Sinouhe featuring in Forbes AfriqueJeuneAfrique, CNBC Africa, MoneystoreAfropean, Trends Tendance. Additionally, he has also won first place at the Microsoft innovation center’s startup program in 2016.

Through his expertise as Founder of Ewala, Sinouhe contributes to the work of ACP YPN as Expert on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The ACP YPN provides a platform for young people to play an active role in policy-making processes at national, regional and international levels in 107 EU and ACP countries. The Network aims to ensure that all young professionals can benefit from equality of opportunity by promoting and facilitating the integration of the perspectives of ACP and EU youth in several key policy dialogues. All of ACP YPN’s activities and advocacy contribute to ensuring ‘responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels’ (target 16.7) in order to provide solutions for youth and institutions in our societies (SDG 16).

Contact & follow Sinouhe Monteiro viaLinkedIn or Twitter

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ACP YPN leads 3rd ACP-EU JPA Youth Forum


On the 18th of June, Bora KAMWANYA, ACP YPN Parliamentary Relations Expert, co-chaired the 3rd ACP YPN Youth Conference with MEP Maria ARENA (EU) and MP Mohamed GOUMANEH (ACP), in collaboration with the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) Secretariat in St. Julian, Malta. Following the Forum, ACP YPN published the St. Julian’s Youth Forum_Declaration & Action Plan.

The 3rd ACP-EU JPA Youth Forum was a result of the work of the ACP YPN Steering Committee composed of 14 Youths from EU and ACP countries, meeting virtually every Wednesday for 7 weeks. The steering Committee chose the topics of the St. Julian Youth Conference following the recommendations of the Nairobi Declaration_from the 2nd ACP-EU JPA Youth Forum held in Nairobi, December 2016. Already at the 2nd ACP-EU JPA Youth Forum, education emerged as a key theme concerning both European and ACP youth. During the online steering committee, other key themes that were raised included  agriculture, climate change and exchange programs.

Youth between the age of 17 and 35 years old from Malta joined the Conference and benefitted from this unique opportunity to exchange with ACP and EU parliamentarians and officials. The two co-chairs, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marie ARENA for the European Parliament and Mr. Mohamed GOUMANEH (Djibouti) for the ACP opened the Youth Conference. This was followed by a speech by Bora, who in his introduction told the Members of the European Parliaments and the Members of ACP national Parliaments that it was time that Youth address and propose solution to problems they are facing or they will face. He added that there are urgent problems, which need to be addressed today: the issue of ACP Agriculture and Trade deficit; Climate Change and preparing young people to be engaged on these issues; and the lack of ACP-EU education cooperation.

During the Youth Forum, two main ideas came out. One, very pragmatic, on “How to better involve youth in the ACP-EU relations” and the other, more prospective, on youth engagement on the aforementioned themes. For the first, the Youth stressed the urgency of increased mobility of young people between EU and ACP Member States. During the Youth Conference, it was proposed, for example, that MEPs should offer 3 traineeships to young people from the ACP regions per year. If we consider 700 deputies in the EU parliament alone, this would represent no less than 2100 young people trained per year, and almost 10,000 in a single mandate of an MEP in particular. If this was extended to ACP MPs, the impact could be far-reaching. It was also proposed to involve young people from ACP countries in the European Forum of Young Parliamentarians. Another proposal included the inclusion of young refugees in Erasmus exchange programs.

All the recommendations were put together in the 3rd ACP-EU JPA Youth Forum_Declaration & Action Plan, also known as the St. Julian’s Declaration and Action Plan. Additionally, Bora made history in the ACP-EU JPA plenary session – through the support of many Parliamentarians – by being the first youth representative to ever take the floor during a plenary session to present the conclusion of the Youth Forum. Bora concluded by stressing the importance of the inclusion of young people in ACP-EU relations, reminding the JPA that the presence of the youth shows their commitment to democratic values, in line with Article 26 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement on ‘youth issues’ and SDG 16.7 on ensuring ‘responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels’.

By Bora Kamwanya

See the original invitation here.

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ACP YPN on responsible mining at EDD17

On 8th June 2017, Zama Nkosi, ACP YPN Private Sector Expert, spoke at a panel discussion “Responsible mining – partnerships to help achieve the SDGs” as part of the 2017 European Development Days. She spoke alongside Lawrence Dechambenoit (Vice President of Corporate Relations for Africa at RIO TINTO), Herbert Lust (Vice-President and Managing Director for Europe at Conservation International) and Sergio Piazzardi (Policy Officer: Private Framework Development, Trade, Regional Integration at the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development in the European Commission). Sanoussi Bilal (Head of the Economic Transformation and Trade Programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management) moderated the session.

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Zama discussed: (i) the importance of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in partnerships towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); (ii) what young people would like these partnerships to achieve (iii); artisanal mining as a preferred occupation among young people in mining communities and (iv) some of the key elements of a partnership from a youth perspective.

Zama highlighted the importance of civil society in collaborating with the mining sector towards the delivery of the SDGs. She emphasised that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), such as ACP YPN, often have direct understandings of the local communities, their expectations and perceptions. She linked this to a critique that often emerges from young people about a lack of consultation when initiatives are designed for local development in mining communities.

Secondly, she elaborated on the critical areas a partnership should tackle from a youth perspective. She argued that, in this sense, the main areas of interest are job creation and skills development. She also emphasised the need to weave women’s rights in the jobs that are created, the working environment and the types of skills developed. She cautioned that these expectations need to be measured against the trends in the mining sector and their potential to absorb unemployed youths and to design skills programmes that they desire.

Thirdly, she highlighted artisanal mining as a key occupation among young Africans in some mining communities and the importance of incorporating this reality in partnerships. She explained that traditional mines have not been able to absorb the numbers of unemployed youth that wish to participate in the sector. Therefore, many young people have taken up artisanal mining, because of its low barriers to entry and its potential to provide immediate financial relief. She stated, “This [artisanal mining] is a reality that is not going to change overnight. These young people’s needs, aspirations and expectations need to be part of the debate. Simply wishing them away will not work.”

Lastly, she listed some of the key elements of a partnership, such as the need to be cognisant of the local context in which they operate, not simply centring a single stakeholder and the need to balance power asymmetries without simply ignoring their existence.

The panel discussion is part of an ongoing series of policy debates on how a multi-stakeholder coalition can work together to achieve the SDGs. A wide range of perspectives were brought forth, but some of the main issues centred around the need to learn from the experiences of existing partnerships and the importance of advancing transparency and trust among different stakeholders.

By Zama Nkosi

Want to know more about the role of the private sector in trade and development? Get in touch with Zama: LinkedIn & @nkosiz

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