We acknowledge that the strength and growth potentials of any society lies in the youth resource and or assets. This suggest that the realization of the Africa’s continental Agenda 2063 is mainly on the thrust of youth demography. Notably, most nations of the world which were able to achieve significant growth, development and progress across sectors were able to experience such feat because they maximized the demographic dividends of their youth. Consequently, the African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program is a decade acceleration and advocacy initiative of IGHUSUF AFRICA. The program among other things strongly seek to incubate targeted actions and spate the implementation of the African Youth Charter across member states. The program will further internalize a coherent, coordinated and inclusive continental, regional and national policy space thrust or push which will ultimately hasten the implementation of the charter.
The AYCM Program of IGHUSUF AFRICA adopts the instrument of strong advocacy, citizen engagement and participatory model to mobilize non state actors, relevant stakeholders, donor agencies, citizens and young people for a collective demand on state actors to implement the charter across all levels of government. Evidently, without the full implementation of the African Youth Charter, the AU Agenda 2063 (1) and (6) which aspires for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development and for an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children are bound to ultimately suffer defeat.
Therefore, the AYCM Program is part of our commitments to providing a distinctive supports to the specific goals, priority areas and strategies to facilitate speedy achievement of the shared AU Agenda 2063. This commitment is premised on our conviction that by scaling full implementation of the African Youth Charter by member states, the AU Aspirations one and six will be realized and ultimately, it will pave way for participatory and bottom-up approaches that will expedite the achievement of other aspirations.
INTRODUCTION TO THE
AFRICAN YOUTH CHARTER
A charter is a document issued by some authority, creating a public or private framework and or institution, and defining its purposes and privileges. The African Youth Charter was drafted and adopted as a political and legal framework for action that takes stock of the current situation of young people in Africa. This is in recognition of the importance of youth participation and involvement in the development of the continent. The charter is African Union Commission ideation in providing a way forward to the development of African youth.
OF THE YOUTH CHARTER
Adopted by Heads of States at the Banjul Summit (July 2006), Gambia, the Charter offers a framework, which emphasizes the rights, duties and freedom of youth, to Governments, Youth, Civil Society and International Partners. The key objective of the Youth Charter is to pave the way for the development of national programmes and the strategic plans for empowerment of young people. It also provides a means for constructive involvement of youth in the development agenda of Africa and their effective participation in the debates and decision making processes for the development of the continent. The African Youth Charter (the Charter) held strong that Africa’s greatest resource is its youthful population and that through youth active and full participation in the development processes of Africa, the continent can surmount the difficulties that lie ahead. It also acknowledges the increasing calls and the enthusiasm of youth to actively participate at local, national, regional and international levels to determine their own development and the advancement of society at large.
Much more, the charter takes into considerations and urges state parties to encourage youth-based organizations to lead youth programmes and to ensure that young people exercise their rights to development and facilitate the creation and strengthening of platforms for youth participation in decision-making at local, national, regional, and continental levels of governance which is in conformity with the Pan-African 2063 ASPIRATION (6) of An Africa where Development is People-Driven, Unleashing the Potential of its Women and Youth. While the promise is yet to be realized and the Charter having become one of the most ratified documents of the African Union, in practice, numerous obstacles exist that negates the implementation of the charter, and thereby denying the Africa’s youth constituency from maximizing the rights and privileges provided for under the Charter.
The African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program baseline survey shows sharp insufficiency in the uptake and domestication of the African Youth Charter by member states. More so, the African Youth Decade Plan of Action (DPoA) 2009-2018 which is a framework for multi-sectorial and multi-dimensional engagement of all stakeholders towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the African Youth Charter ended without producing the most anticipated widespread implementation of the Charter by member states. Evidently, the implementation of the charter has differing statistics in the continent and as such young people are greatly disadvantaged if this instrument is not domesticated and fully implemented to realize the objects and strategic promise of the Charter. More worrisome is that some countries in Africa have not yet signed, ratified the charter.
As of 23 June, 2015,
Member States have signed the Charter
Member States have ratified the Charter
Member States are yet to sign and ratify
ADVOCATING FOR THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE YOUTH CHARTER
Similarly, there is an issues of gross negligence on the specific promises made by the African governments on the domestication and implementation of the charter. This therefore, forms the heartbeat of the African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program. Therefore, the AYCM Program is scaling these concern as an issue of urgent continental emergency. Further to the above, African youth earnestly need to be involved in the decision-making processes of the continent. Much more, they craves for a strong platform and objective movement to advocate for participation in the whole African Youth Charter processes, including the domestication, implementation and monitoring at continental, national and local levels.
The African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program (AYCM Program) is a movement which is built around a coordinated actions to mandate and conscientize the state and non-state actors of the urgency of need to domesticate and fulfill their promise of domesticating and fully implementing the youth charter. Acknowledging this charter as a powerful instrument mandating African governments to take action and empower young people through its, signing, ratification and domestication, the IGHUSUF AFRICA is convinced that if implemented, African Youth will have their capacity built to become better leaders and access more opportunities to network and dialogue on the development of greater number of young people as to be a strong contributing demography in realizing the African 2063 ASPIRATIONS and the holistic development of the continent.
Therefore, the IGHUSUF AFRICA through different partnerships and supports from various entities is striving to popularize the African Youth Charter through advocacy and other lawful measures to ensure that the government of all member states of the African Union are mandated to; sign, ratify and implement the Youth Charter in their various countries. Hoping to continually build the capacity of our networks and volunteers in delivering advocacy and mainstreaming works, through training and workshops on advocacy and lobby to be able to implement this strategy efficiently and effectively.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program is to popularize the African Youth Charter.
To explain the contents of the Charter and to ensure the ownership of the Charter by African youth, youth organizations and all state and non-state stakeholders.
To stimulate mandatory implementation of the Charter by public authorities and all youth development stakeholders.
To inspire full response by all parties concerned through shared value and cutting-edge multi-levels advocacy for the ratification of the Youth Charter for countries that are yet to.
To catalyze the incorporation of the Charter within the working programme and policy framework of the MDAs in charge of youth and all youth development stakeholders in member states.
To through participatory approach and shared value develop indicative and follow-up mechanisms, and monitor the implementation of the Charter, thereby setting up the next level actions to maximize the provisions of the Charter.
The program stakeholders for the African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program are governments, development partners and entities, youth ministries, youth-based departments and agencies. Others are CSOs, CBOs, the media, youth leaders, community leaders, youth led organizations and many more. IGHUSUF AFRICA shall work with these stakeholders to lobby their governments to implement their mandates regarding the Charter. We mapped and categorize the target program stakeholders based on their different levels of influence on the decision making processes. More so, in working with them, we also consider the policy framework of member countries, how policy issues get into their national agenda and how government’s and community buy-in at all levels can be achieved.
In the implementation of the African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program, IGHUSUF AFRICA adopts open partnership with international, continental, sub-region and national entities and stakeholders – both state and non-state entities.
Part of the program activities is to give young people full ownership of the mainstreaming program, as such, we work with, and empower youth leaders and youth organizations to promote and demand the ratification and implementation of the African Youth Charter in their countries. Much more, our core program activities are in consonance with African Youth Charter advocacy strategy guidelines as follows:
a) Massive dissemination and popularization of the charter, and based on shared values, work with Ministries of youth, youth networks, National Youth Councils and organized student bodies to promote the understanding of the contents of the Charter among youth at all levels (national and local including schools, workshops, religious organizations, etc.) in particular by means of;
- Translation in local languages and large distribution (where possible);
- Specific workshops and meetings with specific targets to facilitate popularization of the Charter.
- National activities or festivals for the launching of the Charter, with media involvement;
- Communication and information sessions in schools and universities for students and teachers;
- Public rallies, competitions, and marches for country wide information and action;
- Advocacy meetings with officials and decision makers.
- Run creative competitions (essay, pictures, arts ) to popularize and promote the ratification of the charter
- In countries where there exist a National Youth Policy, IGHUSUF AFRICA teams and volunteers will work to promote the implementation of both the National Youth Policy and the African Youth Charter in order to drive popular participation and integration with local policies.
- Work with parliamentary committees, especially those dealing with education, youth development or any related areas, to advocate for the ratification of the charter, through;
- Special programs with media involving youth organizations and government;
- Celebration of the African Youth National Day and any other cultural and artistic productions and events
b) Making the implementation of the Charter to be part of the focal points during annual celebration of the African Youth Day.
c) Addictive advocacy and strategic youth demand for the implementation of the charter through creation, improvement and reinforcement of partnerships with the public and private sectors, Diaspora, NGOs, and international institutions.
d) Provide objective support to the ministerial work in reporting on progress made in countries, via information Communication Technologies (ICTs) including press and media i.e. websites for interactive entertainment, social media, magazines, TV and radio programmes and TV adverts; posters, t-shirts etc.
AND PROGRAM MESSAGES
The African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program engagements and messages revolves around popularization and explaining the contents of the Charter. Infusing the right energy that would accelerate the ratification, implementation, institutionalization of the Charter in the development policies of member states of African continent. The engagement strategy shall also involve the use of online petition to galvanize supports, voices, popularization and calls on the nations of Africa to implement and institutionalize the youth charter.
OUTPUTS AND OUTCOMES
Through our program activities, strategies, messages, multi-levels partnerships and volunteerism, IGHUSUF AFRICA hopes to see a distinctive and significant program outcomes. Desirously, the program activities highlighted above will ensure that the objects of the program is achieved. This is because:
- Public marches and rallies will create efficient mechanisms for advocacy, lobby and implementation of the African Youth Charter.
- Communication and media will ensure an establishment of a dynamic and modern mechanism of communication and popularization and advocacy for the domestication and implementation of the African Youth Charter
- Cultural events channels would provide a popular and periodic platform for the popularization and the advocacy for the ratification/implementation of the Charter, with the target of maximizing socio-cultural events such as youth convivial cultural festivals, singing, dancing and drama festivals, IGHUSUF AFRICA will bring young people and relevant stockholders together and disseminate information that will guarantee widespread popularization of the charter. This will also ensure that, apart from stimulating exchanges between peoples, generations, societies and regions, there is also efficient ownership of the Charter by populations and different stakeholders.
- The popularization of the African Youth Charter through these organized series and multi-levels engagements, we would have more countries of the African continent ratify, sign and implement the Charter.
- IGHUSUF AFRICA would also have African member states who haven’t developed or reviewed their National Youth Policy to do so and enact it into law; whereas those who have developed or reviewed their National Youth Policy would be lobbied to make it an act of parliament.
The Pilot phase of this mainstreaming program began from May 2020 to May 2022, while the program scale up will run from June 2020 to June 2030. Thus, calculated Action Plans shall be developed with corresponding timelines and budgets for program and projects activities.
The pilot phase of African Youth Charter Mainstreaming Program periodically reflect on changes in the local context, successes or failures of specific initiatives and overall program activities strategy and make adjustments based on outcomes. Much more, based on the outcomes of the periodic program assessment, IGHUSUF AFRICA will design future activities and will assiduously dedicate energy and resources to engage government in developing and implementing policies etc. Further to the above, IGHUSUF AFRICA in partnership with Youth organizations and stakeholders will follow up on Ministries, Departments and Agencies in charge of youth to monitor progress at all levels including getting feedback at all level in line with program objectives.