AU kicks off month-long youth campaign to help benefit 1 mln Africans

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-01 23:57:02|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Friday kicked off a one-month Africa Youth Month campaign with an aim to create direct opportunities for 1 million young Africans.

The Africa Youth Month is an initiative of the AU, commemorated through series of thematic activities across the month of November aligned to the "One Million by 2021" campaign that aspires to create direct opportunities for 1 million young Africans in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement, dubbed the 4Es.

The 55-member pan-African bloc, which on Friday marked the first day of the month-long continental campaign, also dedicated November 1 as Africa Youth Day, which was commemorated under the theme "One Million by 2021: Count Me In!"

On Friday, the AU also initiated various activities in line with the continental youth-themed initiative. The month-long campaign, among other things, will feature youth-led actions, conferences, meetings, dialogues as well as extensive social media engagements across the continent, according to the AU.

As part of the initiative, the AU also called on African youth to join the conversation on the state and future prospects concerning Africa's youth across social media and other platforms during the one month period.

When the African Youth Charter was adopted through an Executive Council Decision of the Banjul Summit of 2006, the 1st of November was proclaimed as "African Youth Day (AYD)."

According to the AU, the campaign envisages to increase awareness and commitment across Africa regarding the crucial importance of investments in youth.

"The focus of the 1 Million by 2021 Initiative on Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Engagement (4Es) is underpinned by a firm foundation of strategic partnerships among stakeholders, and acknowledges young people beneficiaries and partners," the AU said in a statement issued on Friday.

Strengthening youth participation and partnerships, enhancing intercultural exchanges as well as promoting understanding among young people in Africa are also said to be among the major aspirations of the initiative.

"In acknowledging that young people are at the very heart of Africa's development agenda, the 2019 Africa Youth Month (AYM) theme is a clarion call to all youth development stakeholders and all African youth on the continent and in the diaspora to stand up and be counted as drivers of the 1 Million by 2021 Initiative towards youth empowerment," the AU said.

The pan African bloc also called on all stakeholders - including African governments, international organizations, development partners, private sector, as well as civil society organizations - to help realize the major ambitions of the campaign.

The campaign, which is led by the AU's Youth Division in the Human Resources Science and Technology Department, was launched on Friday at the headquarters of the AU Commission in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.