The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit highlighted the key role played by young people on both continents as key actors within the Africa-EU Partnership. At the summit, which was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 9-11 October2017, delegates representing African, European and Diaspora youth organisations put forward a number of recommendations to be presented to Heads of State at the 5th AU-EU Summit, on 29-30 November, the overarching theme of which will be “Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future”.
The Youth Summit called upon Leaders in Africa and Europe to create meaningful mechanisms for young people to engage in political processes and made a number of recommendations for action in six thematic areas: education & skills, peace & security, governance & inclusion, environment & climate, business & job creation, and culture & arts.
In particular, the delegates called on leaders to build on their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the universal framework for setting the world on a more sustainable path, by working together towards sustainable development as the overarching objective of national policies and the Africa-EU partnership, ensuring attention to the needs of future generations.
The delegates also urged leaders to implement a cross-sectoral and participatory approach to youth policy, ensuring structures for effective coordination and mainstreaming of youth in all policies, and the creation of or provision of support to existing mechanisms that guarantee extended and improved youth participation in policy-making processes. Also stressed was the need to leverage the unique potential of the Diaspora Youth to inspire and channel positive change and effective cooperation between Africa and Europe.
To guarantee the successful implementation of these recommendations, the delegates called for the establishment of a participatory mechanism to monitor and evaluate the progress of the Africa-EU Partnership, which ensures cross-sectoral collaboration between governments, CSOs, diaspora and youth organisations.
Building on the history of Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation, the AU and EU should secure dedicated funding and mobilise additional resources to advance this cooperation, further boost opportunities for real partnership and exchange and support the implementation of these recommendations.
Participating in the Summit were 120 young people, selected from over 7500 applicants, who discussed common challenges faced by youth in both continents. The Youth Summit was organised by youth organisation platforms in Africa and Europe (the Pan-African Youth Union, the Network of International Youth Organisations in Africa, and the European Youth Forum) as well as diaspora organisations (ADYNE, ADYFE and ACP-YPN), with input from the Advisory Council of the Council of Europe. It was supported by the European Union in partnership with the African Union together with Côte d'Ivoire as the hosting country.
The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit builds on ten years of Africa-Europe youth cooperation related to institutional processes in the African Union and the European Union. The first Africa-Europe Youth Summit was held in 2007 with the aim of increasing the participation of young people in Africa-Europe cooperation, reinforcing youth work in both regions and influencing youth policy on both continents.
2017 is a defining year for the Partnership between Europe and Africa. The 5th Africa-EU Summit, due to take place on 29-30 November 2017, provides a critical opportunity for African Union and European Union Leaders to respond to evolving global challenges and reshape and deepen the Africa-EU Partnership.