At AU Watch we believe that the most effective and sustainable solutions to get young people to participate in Agenda 2063, and in the Africa we all want is to involve Africa’s youth – as social innovators in all the programs of the AU and their governments. We equip emerging leaders to transform their values and vision into sustainable success.
We: Empower. Amplify. Connect. We exist to model and advance youth-led approaches towards a united Africa; an Africa looking forward to 2063; and an Africa where sustainable development, social equity, democratic governance, and economic viability are prioritized with the Africa youth in mind.
Since AU Watch was established, we have been working to help young Africans citizens understand ‘Africa’ and their unique contribution to the achievement of Agenda 2063. We exist to ensure all young Africans aged 9-25 are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives to the development of Africa. ‘Project Unite Africa’ is increasingly helping young Africans to live cooperative and productive lives; strengthening schools and civil society organisations so that the African youth can address pressing issues.
We refuse to allow the next generation of Africans to inherit only dreams and ideas. They will need to see and be involved in concrete programs, services and institutions of the AU and their countries. AU Watch provides a platform for Africa’s youth to harness their collective strength to assist the AU and its Members to resolve regional and national challenges – engaging young people in the development of Africa and in the political and economic integration of the continent. We create opportunities for the education, training and employment for young people, encourage, motivate and inspire our boys and girls to own the development of their potential and make viable transitions into adult life, equipped to lead the Africa of 2063.
We envision an equitable and fair society in which the African youth enjoy full social, economic and political rights and an Africa where the African youth are seen as assets and resources, and are enabled and empowered to achieve 2063 and a United State of Africa.
• Educate Africa’s youth to know, understand and appreciate who they are as Africans and their role in achieving both Agenda 2063 and the Pan-African dream of a united Africa. We provide information about the untold history of Africa, including the struggles of Pan-Africanism, the O/AU.
• Promoting peace and development through Africa’s youth. Many of Africa’s youth are the ones involved in conflicts and instability. We are of the view that to find solutions to insecurity, we need the full cooperation and agreement of the African youth. We aim to transform the lives of Africa’s youth and empower them to forge a path to sustainable peace and prosperity on the African continent.
• Provide young people with life skills, delivered through a network of local youth organisations. We also train young entrepreneurs in for-profit and non-profit sectors with an emphasis on building the Africa, they will want to be proud to live in.
• Connect like-minded youths and individuals that are committed to the cause of Africa, the achievement of Agenda 2063 and a united Africa, to establish social and political networks.
• Train and mentor youth community leaders to develop and implement practical, community-based solutions to critical issues.
• Work to reduce youth re-offending through the delivery of an innovative rehabilitation programme to those in prison and those at risk of going to prison.
• Get Africa’s youth to be involved in various social justice campaigns, including against Gender Based Violence, Child Labour and Human Trafficking, Poverty alleviations.
The core principles provide a high-level indication of standards at the heart of the work that our youth have chosen to undertake. Our core principles are described in our four Cs:
Village by village, town by town, city by city, we aim to leave an enduring legacy of:
The African Youth In The Context of the AU
The African Union Constitutive Act and the African Union Commission strategic plan 2004-2007 give due priority to youth development and empowerment. They underscore the importance of youth participation and involvement in the development of the continent. Indeed, Africa’s renaissance cannot be realized if adequate investment is not made in the youth who constitute about 40 percent of the African population. To give substance to this commitment to the development of African youth, the AU has since developed a policy framework in the form of the African Youth Charter, which prescribes responsibilities to Member States for the development of youth. The Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted this Charter at their Summit in Banjul in July 2006.
The African Youth Charter does not only provide the Governments, Youth, Civil Society and International Partners with a continental framework, which underlines to the rights, duties and freedoms of youth. It also paves the way for the development of national programmes and strategic plans for their empowerment.
The second key objective of the Youth Charter is to ensure the constructive involvement of Youth in the development agenda of Africa and their effective participation in the debates and decision- making processes in the development of the continent. The Charter sets a framework to enable policy makers to mainstream Youth issues in all development policies and programmes. It thus provides a legal basis for ensuring Youth presence and participation in government structures and forums at national, regional and continental levels.
Thirdly, the Charter provides important guidelines and responsibilities of Member States for the empowerment of Youth in key strategic areas, namely Education and Skills Development, Poverty Eradication and Socio-economic Integration of Youth, Sustainable Livelihoods and Youth Employment, Health, Peace and Security, Law Enforcement, Sustainable Development and Protection of the Environment. It is expected that the execution of these guidelines would not only provide the youth with necessary tools for livelihood but also stem the flow of Africa’s most important resource to other parts of the world.
Finally, the Charter outlines the responsibilities of Youth to their own development and to their countries and continent. In other words, the rights embodied in the Charter are accompanied by responsibilities as well. The Youth cannot expect governments to empower them while they do the opposite by abusing themselves in various ways such as substance abuse. To be able to get maximum benefits from the implementation of the Charter it is expected that youth would also develop and promote the required self-discipline.
I have the privilege to encourage Heads of State and Government in all Member States to ratify the Charter as soon as possible and support the process of popularizing the Charter at national levels. I also invite our development partners to assist African youth in their role as custodians of their own development and to participate fully in citizenship duties towards the socio-economic development of their countries.
Finally, the African Union Commission reiterates its commitment to fulfil its duty towards African youth development and empowerment for the development of the continent.