Friedrich Ebert Stiftung -AU Cooperation office in collaboration with the African Union, UNICEF and Save the Children have co-organized the 2019 Model Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Nov 11-15, 2019 under the theme ‘’ Children Today, Youth Tomorrow: A Smooth Transition’’. This five-day featured workshop and plenaries led by inspiring trainers, journalists, AU officials and UN experts, who shared their experience and ideas on how to become an active African citizen and the road they must take to contribute for the socio-economic development of the continent. Close to hundred participants, which includes students, journalist, and activists from 50 African countries took part on the program. Model Africa Union, also known as Model AU or M-AU, is an extra-curricular activity in which participants typically roleplay delegates to the Africa Union and simulate different AU committees. This role-playing element helped young the participants to understand the AU’s priorities, structures and functions, and build their strategic skills for effective decision-making, Strategy development and implementation.
During the conference representatives from Africa Union, United Nations, and Save the Children briefed participants how they can be part of African renaissance and a driver of change. Ms. Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, shared her life-long experience regarding what it takes to be an active participant and citizenry. Also, Ms.Aya Chebb, first special Envoy on Youth, also shared her experiences as a continental advocate for the Africa Union. At the end, participants left with a tool kit, and a network of support – knowing that they a responsibility to continuously engage in the continental matter.
The foundation of the African Union (AU) in 2002 was a milestone on the path to a more peaceful and prosperous African continent. Moving forward from the mandate of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to liberate the continent from colonialism, the AU pursues the transformation of the continent to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous actor within the next 50 years as outlined in its Agenda 2063. However, the challenges to implementation of continental AU resolutions at the national level has negative implications on the African people as well as the acceptance and recognition of the AU itself as a strong and capable institution.
The Agenda 2063 sets very high political, economic and social targets for the AUC and member states, inspired by future development and innovations. Driving this agenda requires strong leadership and guidance of the AU; it also requires strong leadership capacities for implementation at member states levels. This is particularly important as the current youth population on the continent will translate into the future leadership of the continent and the AU. There is recognition, in Africa and globally, that investing in young people and empowering them for leadership and effective civic engagement, can contribute positively to the achievement of development outcomes set in Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals. Both Agendas recognise the critical agency of young people and emphasise inclusivity and broad participation as well as the principle of leaving no-one behind. The AUC Youth Engagement strategy seeks to strengthen the relationship between African youth and the AUC, as well as encourage young people's ownership of the development of the continent towards the realisation of Agenda 2063.
Read the full concept note here
Read the full program here