Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The 17th ordinary session of the African Union heads of State opens on Thursday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, with the first day to be devoted to the examination and debates on the topic "Speeding of youth automation for sustainable development" to be presented by Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi.
Other personalities expected to make presentations are Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré, his counterpart of Mozambique, Armando Emílio Guebuza, the executive director of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive secretary of the African Foundation for Capacity Building (ACBF), Dr Frannie Leautier and the deputy governor of the World Bank for Africa, Mrs Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili.
About 15 young representatives from the five continents, as well as the host country, will take part in the debates that will focus on the recommendations from the high-level consultations on the issues and the financing of young people's development projects held on 1-2 April this year at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
Those high-level consultations, which brought together government representatives, experts, parliamentarians, United Nations institutions, the Pan-African Youth Union (UPJ) and several National Youth Councils (NYC), had made several recommendations to the heads of state and government, as well as the African Union Commission, urging them to make all arrangements to "speed up the ratification and effective implementation of the African Youth Charter".
The consultations particularly urged the African Union Commission to use the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development NEPAD programme to ensure monitoring and evaluation for the implementation of the African Youth Charter.
The AU Commission was called upon to draft strategies to strengthen the public-private partnership in the mobilization of local resources in view of the implementation of youth development programmes.
It is worth pointing out that the youth aged between 15 and 35 years, who are the majority of the African population and the essential driving force for Africa's sustainable development, remain some of the most affected by the challenges facing the continent.
These include education, entrepreneurship, competence development, sustainable subsistence means, unemployment, weak participation in decision-making processes, migration and conflicts.
-0- PANA SSB/MSA/MA 29June2011