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.

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?

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ACP YPN & Cooperatives Europe on Trade & Youth at EDD2018

On 6th June, the second day of the European Development Days 2018 (#EDD2018), ACP YPN partnered with Cooperatives Europe for their Brainstorming session on ‘Youth as key actors of change.’ The Session convened to discuss (1) Why youth matter & why to engage them in social and political decision making? and (2) The role of Youth and Trade. Yentyl Williams, Director, ACP YPN led the Roundtable and assistance was given by Kelly-Ann Fonderson, Expert, ACP YPN.

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The first ten minutes were dedicated to discussing the challenges, opportunities and actions to take on the first issue – (1) engaging youth in social and political decision-making. While numerous challenges were outlined, the two key opportunities that were highlighted: (i) The opportunity to create spaces e.g. trainings and (ii) the opportunity to foster structural transformation with youth playing a key role.

The second part of the discussion focused on (2) the role of youth and trade and the team discussed the issue over half an hour by focusing on 5 key points from which 5 main take-away points were drawn:

 (i) Various indicators of societal well-being should be used in a complimentary way to have a holistic overview of society.

For example, combining GDP with Taiwan’s definition of GNP as Green, Nature and People, as well as Bhutan’s Happiness Index.

(ii) Creating new inclusive spaces for young people to play an active role in decision-making is more relevant than creating new spaces.

For example, the emphasis should be places on inter-generational dialogue and this would avoid operating in silos – which is an inherent risk when new institutions are created, as opposed to new spaces in existing institutions – and foster more synergies in the process of youth mainstreaming.

(iii) No consensus was reached on Youth-friendly laws in our group.

There was justified concern that youth-friendly laws in relation to trade could merely replicate structural imbalances with youth who have the most economic power benefiting from such laws.

(iv) Knowledge exchange should be prioritised over knowledge transfer to foster inclusive and holistic policy and decision making on the premise that ‘shared knowledge is shared powered’, in line with SDG16.7 on fostering inclusive and responsive decision-making.

(v) Development aid should end and we should work on phasing it out and moving towards new inclusive models of exchange.

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The results of all four tables – facilitated by Sergi Corbalan, Fairtrade Advocacy Europe, Anis Saada, Indonesian Youth Cooperatives, Khouloud Mannai,  Trade Union Tunisia – shall be compiled in a forthcoming report. You can have a look at all the photos of the Brainstorming session here. #EDD2018 #SheEDDs #SheisWe #ACPYouthTalk

Do you have questions? Contact Yentyl Williams & Kelly-Ann Fonderson.

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ACP YPN lead on Trade at EYE2018, European Parliament

On the 2nd of June, the second day of the European Youth Event (EYE), ACP YPN lead its workshop on “Trade Agreements: Is your Deal my Deal?” at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The objective of ACP YPN was to strengthen the capacity of EU and ACP youth to contribute to the ACP-EU partnership. In particular, the ACP YPN Delegation to EYE2018 had two specific aims: to (i) engage with EU and ACP youth on the topic of trade and post-Cotonou relations; and to (ii) share opportunities for youth to boost their skills and ability to contribute to policy-making, while strengthening ACP YPN’s international database of youth experts. See the background note here.

The format of the workshop was the world cafe model, whereby participants discussed the thematic issues in 6 groups of 5 people facilitated by Experts in the ACP YPN team. Participants had an hour and a half to draw up 3 recommendations on 6 themes based on the thematic areas of European Commission’s recommendation to the Council on ACP-EU trade and  Post Cotonou relations:

  • Title I: Human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy , rule of law and good governance
  • Title II: Inclusive sustainable economic development
  • Title III: Environment and climate change
  • Title IV: Peace, security and justice
  • Title V: Migration and mobility
  • Title VI: Human development and dignity

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Finally, this Document of Recommendations outlines the main points discussed by the youth participants during the workshop. #EYE2018 #ACPYouthTalk

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ACP YPN Expert on Cyber-Bullying & Digital Literacy, EYE2018

On 1-2 June 2018, Kelly-Ann Fonderson, an ACP YPN youth delegate attended the European Youth Event (EYE) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. During the EYE 2018 conference, Kelly-Ann attended the Glitch! UK panel with Seyi Akiwowo on women in politics, cyber bullying and gender-based violence. While discussing solutions to these intersectional issues Kelly-Ann called for enhanced digital literacy training for police to recognize the severity of online violence and tackle online hate crimes. Out of the 8,970 youth participants, and 1,000 ideas submitted, Kelly-Ann’s recommendation was published in the EYE report (see page 60), which documented the best 100 ideas during the conference.


One of the issues with cyberbullying and violence against women is that authorities whom effect change do not always recognize the violence in time. This is due to lack of digital literacy, underestimating or disregarding signs of violence and hate crimes, or failing to recognize the escalation of violence. For these reasons Kelly-Ann suggests a three-fold solution:
1)Police should be trained and equipped with digital literacy to recognize the signs of cyber hate crimes and cyberviolence in order to prevent its escalation in the non-cyber world;
2) Secondly, schools and educational platforms should teach about cyber bullying and best practices in order to prevent online hate crimes and cyberbullying;
3) Lastly, cyber violence should be included in the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) to protect all citizens from cyberviolence and online abuse.


This suggestion is supported by the legal instrument of the Istanbul Convention which aims to combat violence against women and domestic violence through an international and integrated approach. Kelly-Ann’s suggestion calls attention to the multiple forms that
women in particular face violence. Such forms include physical violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse along with digitalization cyber violence. Cyber violence, like domestic violence remains a gendered problem. According to Seyi Akiwowo, founder of charity Glitch!UK women are more likely than men to suffer from online abuse. For this reason, online abuse should be added to the Istanbul Convention framework.

In conclusion, in Kelly-Ann’s perspective, education is key to influencing culture and equipping the current and future generations to use technology responsibly. Finally, high profile cases of cyberbullying related to stalking, verbal harassment can in the worst cases lead to fatality. Due to the role of digitalization and technological changes in society it is necessary for police and law enforcement to understand the nature of cybercrime, what to look out for and how to prevent escalation. (See her recommendation below!)

3By Kelly-Ann Fonderson – Get in touch and connect with Kelly-Ann on Linkedin 

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals? 

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