On 9-10 October 2019, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), and the Gorée Institute jointly organised a two-day multi-stakeholder dialogue on the theme “Migration, Peace and Security: What Role for CSOs in Promoting Regional Integration in the Nexus of Migration and Free Movement of People”.
The forum, held at Gorée Island, Senegal, attracted over 40 participants from civil society, government, academia, international and regional organizations in 10 countries.
The AYC was represented by Mr. Moussa Diop, Commissioner of Political Affairs (Senegal) and Mr. Kawsu Sillah, Executive Secretary (Gambia).
The main objective of the dialogue was to explore migration and free movement of people in the nexus of regional integration, address the pros and cons of this discourse, and recommend practical operable recommendations for the AU, Member States, RECs/RMs and other stakeholders working on migration, peace and security.
The specific objectives of the forum were to:
In his opening speech, Dr. Yonas Adaye Adeto, Director, Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) acknowledged that the location of the Post-Tana Forum in Gorée Island was symbolic of the important historical legacy of migration in and out of Africa. ‘’The Tana Forum is a symbol of African intellectual independence, and the organization of dialogue foras such as the Post-Tana Forum is a useful space for key organizations such as ECOWAS to discuss and develop substantive knowledge and policies on migration’’, he said.
Dr. Yonas went on to highlight that the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (Tana Forum) aims at bridging the gap between policy making and policy implementation by bringing together Heads of State and Government, experts, prominent personalities, leaders of international and regional institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, eminent scholars, academics and socially engaged youth to discuss timely issues in a spirit of commonality and moral duty towards finding solutions to peace and security challenges facing the continent.
Accordingly to the director, the informal nature of the Forum lends a different approach to discussing security issues on the continent. ‘’The Forum is not intended to deliver official declarations; instead, it is stimulated by the desire to engage in fresh, candid and in-depth discussions on pressing peace and security issues to produce innovative ideas and open new windows of opportunities for solutions’’, he added.
He noted that in its 8th edition, the Tana Forum discussed “Political Dynamics in the Horn of Africa: Nurturing the Emerging Peace Trends” on 3-4 May 2019 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Further, he revealed that during this forum, national and regional stability in the Horn of Africa (HoA) was highlighted as paramount importance to the region’s peace and security agenda, serving as vital components of sustainable development objectives across the region. ‘’Among the various topics raised and discussed, the situation regarding migration and free movement of people in Africa and beyond emerged as an issue that requires deeper discussions and engagement with civil society institutions. This was the backdrop to this Dakar dialogue, which aimed to garner experiences and perspectives from CSOs and stakeholders active in this field, Dr. Yonas concluded.
Other speakers of the opening ceremony includes; Mr. Doudou Dia, Director, Gorée Institute; Mrs. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director, African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP); Professor Ndioro Ndiaye, Advisor to the President, Government of Senegal and Brigadier General Amadou Anta Gueye, Director, Centre des Hautes Etudes de Dfense et de Scruit/CHEDS/.
Mr. Kawsu Sillah, Executive Secretary of the AYC participated in a panel discussion on “Current Status of Migration and Displacement in Africa” which focuses on ► State and non-state actors and external responses to migration (interrogating current policy frameworks, mediating efforts and their impact); ► Push and pull factors of migration and displacement in Africa; ► Implications of migration and displacement in Africa.
This panel was moderated by Mrs. Michelle Ndiaye, Director, Africa Peace and Security Programme, Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS). Other panelists were: Dr. Chukwuemeka B. Eze, Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Mr. Ernest Lartey, Head of Conflict and Security Program, Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Center (KAIPTC) and Dr. Marie-Paule Kodjo, President, ONG Playdoo-CI.
The panellists discussed the political economy that creates structural factors conducive to migration. Dating back to the slave trade and colonial history to the modern-day era of globalization and neoliberalism, the current imbalance in global trade relations is furthered by African elites who lack the political will to keep African resources and talents within the continent. They argued that, in order to reverse this trend, bilateral and multilateral relationships should focus on African ownership over the exploitation of resources and industrialization.
They went on to identify both push factors (such as unemployment, climate change, insecurity and armed conflict) and pull factors (such as political stability, favourable economic and climatic conditions and attractive migration policies) as key to regulating and managing migration efficiently. They further noted that, migration is a cross-cutting issue relevant to a majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to them, the main references to migration are found in Goal 8 and Goal 10, which aim to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth” and “reduce inequality within and among countries” respectively. They highlighted that Safe and free migration and movement greatly contributes to closing the widening inequality divide by abiding to the SDG principle of “leaving no one behind.”
In conclusion, they highlighted that, adhering to multilateral frameworks and implementing them at the national level is necessary to tackle push and pull factors in a holistic way. ‘’One example is the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Child Trafficking in West Africa, adopted by 11 ECOWAS member states in 2005. In Côte d’Ivoire, this has translated into promising initiatives resulting from collaboration with CSOs, such as advocacy campaigns informing the youth on the risks of migration, programmes to support the return of migrants, and the introduction of new laws such as compulsory education. Furthermore, national efforts should be increasingly coordinated with neighbouring countries to find common approaches to migration. This requires strong political leadership and regional integration. While migration is often portrayed negatively, it is a natural phenomenon that brings benefits when adequately managed and organized’’, they stated.
They collectively emphasized that; civil society actors should highlight the positive aspects of migration in order to contribute to the development of new policies that support migrants’ contributions to society. The role of civil society organizations is to engage in advocacy, accountability and action. The CSO actors have the unique ability to equip citizens with the necessary knowledge to hold governments accountable for the use of their taxes, and to push for more inclusive exploitation of national resources. To allow CSOs to play these roles, states have the responsibility to make civic space more conducive. While CSOs are often associated with confrontation, activism and advocacy against government policies, they can also benefit from increased professionalization, clearer mandates, and closer collaboration with the state.
Finally, they said, in order to better engage with the government on migration issues, CSOs should use social media efficiently and constantly engage with the government’s online platforms.
The following sessions were also adequately covered during the forum:
In the final session, the summary of outcomes and key takeaways were presented and adopted by the participants.
Outcomes of the forum:
For more, visit the Forum website, here.
African Youth Consultation on the Job Creation Campaign, held on the Margin of the AU Summit, 7 February at Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
On the sidelines of the African Union Summit, ONE Africa in partnership with the Office of African Union Envoy on Youth brought together young people from nine countries for a one-day African Youth Consultation on Job Creation. The 20 participants discussed how to mobilise young Africans’ opinions on key policy commitments and reforms that can enable African countries to create 1 million decent jobs annually by 2021. The meeting set the stage for reaching out to 1 million young Africans to drive the campaign.
The AYC was represented by Ms. Natalie Sonia Mukundane, Executive Chairperson and Mr. Kawsu Sillah, Executive Secretary.
The opening remark was delivered by Ms. Aya Chebbi, AU Youth Envoy. She thanked the participants for honoring the invitation to attend this important youth consultative meeting. She informed the gathering that the Republic of South Africa is chairing the AU in 2020 and the theme of the year is ‘’Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development’’. Ms. Chebbi noted that for younger generation, ‘’Silencing the Guns in Africa’’ means; Silencing Poverty and Hunger, Silencing Youth Unemployment, Silencing Gender Based Violence, Silencing Corruption, Silencing Climate Crisis as these are some of the root causes for conflict and violence on the African continent. She challenged the young people to own this important campaign and create awareness around it.
Aya used the opportunity to introduce the participants to some of the legal instruments adopted by AU such the African Youth Charter and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Governance Charter, the protocol for free movement of people, goods and services, as well as the structures of the AU, notably the Executive Council (composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs) responsible for AU agenda setting before the General Assembly, AU Peace and Security Council similar to the UN Security Council, Permanent Representative Council (PRC composed of Ambassadors), Assembly (composed of Head of States and Government) and Specialized Technical Committees (STC on various issues such as Youth, Sports and Culture etc). STC meets every two years.
Ms. Chebbi said the idea of this meeting is to bring the AU closer to the youth, advocate for move the agenda from youth peace and security to youth peace and development, inclusion of youth part of the Government delegation to attend AU’s summit (at least 2 representatives from each member state), encourage intergenerational dialogue and collaboration amongst youth-led networks (she applauds the African Youth Commission’s work in this area). The envoy noted that youth are not well organized in AU spaces and that need to be improved; youth need to co-lead with current African leaders for mentorship and leadership, need to strength working relationship between pan-African networks and finally encouraged collaboration between youth movement (African Youth Commission – AYC and Afrika Youth Movement – AYM). She thanked everyone for kind attention and wished them fruitful deliberations.
Edwin Ikhuoria, Interim Executive Director at ONE Africa, presented the Job creation – what we know from ONE campaign. In his presentation, he noted that youth work should not be done as usual and should be revolutionary, right investment should be done in youth as it’s time to empower them.
Mr. Ikhuoria highlighted that the drivers of war are, if the opportunity cost is not higher, then the likelihood of youth involving in conflict will be higher; if young people are not engaged/employment there will be a lot of Peace fund, stand by force and peace keeping missions in Africa. He emphasized that from 2020 the fight has to be an economic fight (job creation, economic empowerment etc); need to move from rhetoric to action; the rest of the world is getting older and Africa is growing younger (2.5million enter in labor force from now to 2030); 10-12 million young people entering job market, only about 3million gets a job; five countries including South Africa faces youth unemployment with rising unemployment rate to above 40%; Urban youth are disproportionately affected by joblessness; but the real problems is that fewer decent jobs exist across the continent; informal sector creates most of the jobs in Africa (not mere jobs should be created but it should be decent jobs).
He went on further to identify the following 3 broad problems:
In addition, he revealed that the issue of electricity is also identified by African businesses as major challenge and Africa is most hit by climate change and yet it’s the least contributor.
As for ‘’what policies works’’, Edwin noted, limited evidences; most finding are mostly often specific to their context; access to credit, prioritization of job creation, regulatory frameworks and entrepreneurship education, Infrastructure, youth leadership and digital divide (70% of Africa’s young people are not connected). He raised questions as to where will young people will be living? And the answers revealed that nearly 70% of the 15-24 olds live in rural areas (most of them are farmers); changing nature of work (technology/tech industry i.e Jumia) employed about 3000 people across Africa and almost 100.000 commission affiliates across the globe; sectors of highest potential to absorb Africa’s youth bulge (Agriculture and food system, business process outsourcing, transport and tourism, creative industry and ICT based services), and we should begin to think of exporting/outsourcing our expertise/services to other part of the world and put in place key policy imperatives for job creation in Africa.
What can donors do? How can Africa create 230 million jobs by 2030? How can we get solutions from 1million African young people? This discussion centres on the AU 1mBy2021 Initiative: Focus on 2 E’s Employment & Entrepreneurship and was facilitated by Nicholas Omondi Ouma of AU Youth Division.
Mr. Nicholas mentioned that this initiative is championed by the AU Chairperson to provide one million African youth with opportunities in education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement.
Why the initiative? He said it is to accelerate what is been done and AUC is mandated through the Agenda 2063, and other frameworks to provide the following services to African youth:
Following his presentation, participants recommended that the advocacy around the labour laws and minimum wages especially at member state levels should be intensified by the African Union Commission in collaboration with labour ministries.
Presentation: Transforming education for youth employment, Viridiana Wasike, CEO Accelevate Leads, Kenya
Ms. Viridiana said the Accelevate Leads focus on high growth and high value areas in Africa and increase number of young people in skills development in Africa. She noted most educated African youth are the most unemployed, and asked what are we not doing right?
She concluded that there is need to see how young people are consistent and committed to building their own development or network.
The last presenter was Ms. Sonia Kwami, Campaigns Director at ONE Africa. Her presentation focuses on ONE Africa’s youth campaign called ‘’Youth manifesto on job creation’’. She took the participants through the campaign strategy on job creation and entrepreneurship. In the end, the participants shared their ideas on how the following key questions could be tackled:
The ideas shared will be developed further to form part of the ‘’1million job creation campaign’’ to be championed by African youth with support of ONE Africa. For this drive, the AYC committed to mobilise 300,000 youth voices through its national consortiums spread across 46 African countries to participate in the campaign as soon as it’s launched.
More about the Campaign, please visit this PAGE on ONE Africa website.
For more about the Summit including the outcome document, please visit the IOE website at this link: IOE 6th ASP Summit 2020, Lagos, Nigeria.
Mr. Flomo M. Maiwo, Deputy Executive Chairperson and Mr. Kawsu Sillah, Executive Secretary attended the Summit representing the AYC.
Held from 25th – 26th February 2020 in Lagos, Nigeria, the 6th African Social Partners Summit was convened by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) in partnership with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) with support of the European Union under the theme: ‘’Towards the socio-economic transformation of Africa through job creation: the role of the social partners’’. It brought together all the interested parties – representatives of employers, workers, governments, international organisations, and youth – to share and review work to date to advance job creation policies in Africa. The ASP Summit series has been a journey: we have moved from words to actions and now is the time to explore and assess the challenges and opportunities arising from implementation. The aim was to identify initiatives that have real potential for replication, albeit modified for national particularities, in the achievement of economic and social transformation through skills development and job creation.
Addressing the participants in his opening remark, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi, President and Chairman of Governing Council (NECA) noted that to address the challenges of rising of unemployment requires concerted efforts and encouraged partners to put their ideas and resources together to curb this global threat to our development. He shared some initiatives taken by his organisation such as the ‘’Industrial Training Fund’’ which is supporting young people to gain skills needed to secure employment or create jobs and the organisation of annual ‘’Job Fair’’ which serves as a platform for job seekers and employers to meet and since over 2600 job seekers participated in the fair.
For his part, Mr. Robert Suarez Santos, Secretary General of IOE, expressed delightto be in Lagos for this important Summit alongside employers and other stakeholders in the industry. He thanked the participants for accepting the invitation to attend the 6th Social Partners Summit. Mr. Suarez noted that Nigeria has big opportunities in terms of economic growth and youth bulge and that’s one of the reasons for IOE to host this Summit in Lagos with a view to identify areas for global and regional actions to create decent jobs (in partnership with Business Africa and other stakeholders in the Africa region). ‘’Creating a business environment for job creation and skills development is central in IOE’s work’’, SG Santos said. At IOE, we are working hard with ILO to allocate more resources for skills development and job creation and the outcome of this Summit will help us to realize this goal. He concluded by assuring the IOE’s continued support and collaboration with African partners.
Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo, Secretary General, Business Africa, thanked the IOE and NECA for organising the Summit and she hoped the gathering will come up with tangible solutions to provide high quality paying jobs for African youth. Mrs. Mugo emphasized that creating inclusive and sustainable jobs is central to the development of African economy, and enterprises need to growth and dialogue among themselves to improve partnership and job creation in Africa. She encouraged the partners to take advantages of AFCFTA to ease free movement of people, goods and services, and improve engagement around youth to better skills development. Jacqueline concluded by reminding the Nigerian authorities the need to remove visa barriers for all African citizens to make business engagement easier.
Ms. Cynthia Samuel Olonjuwon, Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa at ILO, begin her remark by appreciating the IOE and NECA for inviting her to the Summit. Madam Cynthia revealed that NECA played a great role in her personal career development as she previously served the association in various capacities before moving to her current position at ILO. She thanked the management for all the support accorded to her over the years.
In her address, the ILO regional director said, 6 out of 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa, and despite this Africa continue to face the challenges of high unemployment. She noted that unemployment rate will increase from 34.1M to 38.4M, and youth not in education and training will increase from 52.2M to 58.3M in the coming years. Given this statistics, madam Cynthia asked ‘’can we change the Demographic profile into a dividend or a disaster?’’.
‘’Political space must allowed job creation and not only mere talks, we to move from low paying to formal high paying jobs’’, she emphasized. She noted that Agriculture remains major employers for many African countries but yet it’s not mechanized in such a way that young people will be motivated to venture into it.
According to her, ILO has adopted a Plan of Action covering 7 work streaming, and promoting decent work for young African men and women is very central in this. She concluded by expressing the ILO’s commitment to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020.
Mr. Ayuba P. Wabba, President of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), informed the gathering that in 2019, about 40M jobs were created but only 16M jobs grasp by young people. ‘’Africa need plenty jobs to grow its economy’’, Mr. Ayuba said.
Finally, Senator (Dr.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment delivered the key note and opening statement. ‘’Nigerian Government is concerned with an alarming rate of unemployment and working with stakeholders to addressing it’’, Hon. Minister said.
He noted that the youth population is challenge in working poverty, mismatch of skills and quality education and to address this challenge, the Federal Government of Nigeria has introduced a minimum wage (30 thousand naira as a minimum wage in Nigeria), digital skills (IT) training programmes for youth and micro economic framework to create employment throughout the country. He thanked IOE and NECA for organizing the Summit in Nigeria, thanked participants for attending and officially declares the Summit open.
Panel discussions (Outcome of the ILO Africa Regional Meeting and employer-related activities)
The AYC was given the opportunity to make an intervention and co-moderate the session on ‘’Work-based learning in Africa: how can we further expand TVET to develop skills for the labour market?’’
During the discussions, the AYC shared its experiences on how it is empowering African youth to gain essential skills in order to become self-employed or relevant in labour market. The representative raised the following questions:
What is the role of workers’ organisations?
How can private sector get more involved in promotion of TVET?
State of TVET learning in Africa
Soft skills vs Hard soft
In the end, participants were divided into groups to identify sub-regional challenges and share best practices.
Regional Breakouts (Best practices from Nigeria)
Recommendations from the sub-regional breakouts were presented to the organisers and will form part of the outcomes of Summit.
SUBJECT: POSTPONEMENT OF THE 4TH PAN AFRICAN YOUTH CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN UNITY AND DEVELOPMENT AND THE ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING OF THE AFRICAN YOUTH COMMISSION 2020.
Since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in January 20th 2020, the Organizing Committee of the 4th Pan African Youth Conference has kept a close eye on the situation and the impact it could have on the participants.
Over the last few days, a number of African countries including Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco have confirmed cases with Sudan and Equatorial Guinea registered suspected cases. As a result of the continuous spread of this worldwide epidemic in many countries, we are being notified that a number of international events set to take place in March including the conference of ‘United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)’ are postponed.
Following the advice of World Health Organization (WHO), that no risk should be taken to increase the danger, we regret to inform the general public that the 4th Pan African Youth Conference on African Unity and Development, and the Annual General Assembly Meeting of the AYC, scheduled to take place from 23-27 March 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya is now postponed until further notice. Our decision has been informed largely by the possible spread of the virus, the reliance on physical measures for prevention and given the fact that the very large number of participants from across the continent and the diaspora expected to be part of the conference and we do not have the capacity to manage a crisis related to this Coronavirus.
We understand that this postponement might have financial implications but our main concern is the ultimate safety and well-being of all participants.
We are closely monitoring the situation and once it has improved, we will communicate the new dates as soon as possible. Please note, the postponement does not mean that conference is cancelled. Keep an eye on the conference page for updates: http://africanyouthcommission.org/4th-pan-african-youth-conference-2020/
The host country, Republic of Kenya remained unchanged, and the invitation letters sent out to all participants equally remains valid.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee,
Phone: +220 986 53 00