Youth Forum speaks at AU-EU Summit opening
The high-level 5th African Union – European Union Summit will be held today and Thursday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The main focus of the Summit is Investing in Youth and even more promising is the slogan of the summit “Together for Youth, with Youth”.
Anna Widegren, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, is scheduled to speak together with the President of the Pan-African Youth Union, Francine Muyumba, at the opening of the Summit. Here they will address state leaders from the two continents, and bring youth civil society to the core of the Summit.
In October, young people from Africa and Europe gathered in Abidjan for the Africa-Europe Youth Summit. At the Youth Summit, the delegates developed the so-called Abidjan Declaration. The European Youth Forum will put the Declaration at the centre of the AU-EU Summit. The common message of the Youth Summit was this: young people cannot reach their potential without investment; of finances, of resources, of time. They cannot reach their potential without action from you, their governments and institutions. A sustainable future cannot be achieved by youth alone.
The European Youth Forum will urge governments in both continents to ensure that this isn’t a Summit of empty promises. The partnership between Africa and the EU must move forward, with the collaboration of civil society. Participation of civil society and youth organisations in the evaluation of progress towards the partnership must be guaranteed.
Youth will also be participating in the AU-EU Summit in other ways. The 36 young fellows of the EU-AU Youth Plug-In Initiative, through which the participants have developed new ideas exploring how the Africa-EU Partnership can deliver for young people in the coming years, will be present. Moreover, some country delegations, eg. the Finnish, also brought Youth Delegates to the Summit in Abidjan.