Youth get adapted into the Africa for results conversation

Y4R
 It’s been over a month since I was here. I got overtaken by
the events of life I guess. Which sometimes is never a good thing, I must be
quick to add. But I have been able to witness so many great things as well.
 One of which I get to share on here.
14th to 17th May 2013 went down in
history as very important days in the progression of youth matters in the
continent. For the first time youth were invited and allowed to be a part of
the deliberations at the AfCop [Africa Community of Practice] and COMESA
[Common Market for East and Southern Africa]. The meeting was held in Lusaka,
Zambia. There were 150 delegates from about 19 countries in Africa. About 20 of
them were youth. 
AfCop was first instituted in 2007 as a result of the Paris
Declaration.  It started out as a forum where practitioners met to develop
and expand their capacity to manage development results. It later on
transitioned into becoming a change agent. As a change agent, it would then
seek to improve the development processes through supporting and advocating for
result oriented policies and programs through regional and national Communities
of Practice. The former took place between 2007 and 2009 while the latter is
ongoing having started in 2010.

Youth representatives from DRC, Kenya,
Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Malawi, Djibouti 
According
to the Youth and African Uni on Commission, 65% of the total population of
Africa is between the ages of 18 and 35. This makes Africa the most youthful
planet with an average age of 20. The population of Africa currently is around
600 million. According to the definition by the African Union, youth in Africa
are considered to be between the age of 18 and 35. If there anyone that needs
to talk about the future and well being of Africa, then the youth need to be a
part of that conversation. The youth offer sustainability for the future.
Anything started now that involves the youth is bound to continue, one is
certain that it will live many more years to come.
The Youth involvement in these meetings came as a result of hard
work. Two youth were a part of an earlier AfCop meeting in Tunis late last
year. Tayani Banda was attending the meeting on behalf on his country. Rotimi
Olwale was also attending the meeting as a close associate of one of the
delegates and his passion for development in Africa. The two pushed for
involvement of the youth. Their argument being: the Youth in Africa offer
sustainability. A few months down the road, a call for youth involvement was
made. Two teams were called up: one representing the francophone speaking
countries of Africa and another representing the Anglo-phone countries. Talk
about advocacy for the right cause.
The main agenda for this meeting was “Toward a Regional Community
of Practices: Regional Integration Results, it’s Everybody’s Business”. 
A lot
was discussed in terms of how to bring about development with results in
Africa. Presentations on leadership accountability, monitoring evaluation and
results based management were done. Regional integration is something that
Africa has talked about since its independence. However we continue to face a
lot of challenges that include the weak convergence of economic policies,
inadequate participation of non-state actors, the lack of integration between
national and regional programs among others. That is why management for
development results [MfDr] is being used a  change management process to
help avert these constraints. The process should at the end of its tenure have
helped Africa achieve results, hence Africa for results. [Afr4Results]. We need
though to understand that our contribution is paramount in spite and despite of
what position we hold in society. Do we hold our leaders accountable? Are we as
leaders transparent and effective? Does our leadership reflect results?
Some
of the youth shared their take out from the meeting:
“The
presentation on leadership enlightened me on policy leadership, openness and
transparency and in reforming for change. In particular this presentation was a
foundation for us the youth leadership as we seek to learn from the current
leaders and promote success MfDR stories in order to foster better living
condition for Africa. As the saying goes, “the youth are the future leaders of
tomorrow”.” Rudolf Nkata, Youth Representative from Malawi.
“Managing for Development Results (MfDR) is a simple but highly
effective approach to sustainable development especially due to its emphasis on
Monitoring and Evaluation and Accountability as some of its key pillars. I will
start by applying MfDR principles in my daily work at the Kenya Medical
Research Institute. As an influential young leader, passionate about youth
involvement in solving Africa’s problems, I will create time during my youth
forum at work and in the community to share the key pillars of MfDR with my
subjects, colleagues and friends.” Maurice Ongala, Youth representative Kenya.
At
the end of the four days the youth agreed on a couple of things, one of them
being the following.
Successful
engagement of young people in these processes must be institutionalized in
order for the young people’s participation to be sustainable. Youth engagement
has to fit into the general implementation outlook and institutional mechanisms
of the AfriK4R [Africa for Results] both at local, regional and international
level.

It
was definitely, time well spent and I am honored to have represented
my country.

2 thoughts on “Youth get adapted into the Africa for results conversation

  1. Lovely. This is simply lovely, Ruth. After the Lusaka declaration, we want to see more young people in Africa engaging meaningfully in MfDR issues int heir countries and across borders as well.

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