I. Introduction


The Youth for Peace (Y4P) Africa Programme was launched in September 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of efforts to implement Article 17 of the AU Youth Charter, 665th Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), UNSCR 2250 and 2419, the Peace and Security Department in collaboration with the Youth Division and African Governance Architecture of the Department for Political Affairs. In order to facilitate effective coordination, the PSD established an Inter-Departmental Task Force on Youth Peace and Security with all relevant departments of the Commission.


II. Objective


The Y4P Africa program seeks to effectively engage, involve, and collaborate with young women and men as well as organized youth groups in the promotion of peace and security on the continent. This will contribute towards changing the negative perception of youth as harbingers of violence or problems to be solved to partners for peace. In this regard, the Y4P program advocated for the first PSC open session on Youth Peace and Security, which held on 8th November 2018 in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day. Key decisions of the communiqué of the 807th meeting of the PSC include clarion call to member states to urgently implement UNSCR 2250, 2419 and other regional and continental instruments relating to youth peace and security; Request to the Commission to undertake a study to assess the role and contributions of youth in peace and security on the continent; appointment of five regional African Youth Peace Ambassadors, who will work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace on the continent; as well as the finalization of the ongoing framework on youth peace and security.

 III. Important Frameworks and Decisions


A.     PSC Communiques

 1.  Communique of the 807th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on: "Youth, Peace, and Security"

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 807th meeting held on 8 November 2018, to its first-ever open session on Youth, Peace, and Security in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day, and adopted the following decision:

The 807th PSC Decision calls for Member States to:

- urgently implement UNSCR 2250, 2419 and other regional and continental instruments relating to youth peace and security;

- Request to the Commission to undertake a study to assess the role and contributions of youth in peace and security on the continent;

- appointment of five regional African Youth Peace Ambassadors, who will work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace on the continent;

- as well as the finalization of the ongoing framework on youth peace and security. Decided to institutionalize and regularize an annual open session dedicated to the theme of “Youth, Peace and Security in Africa”.

 https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/psc.807.comm.psc.youth.peace.and.security.8.11.2018.pdf

2. Communique of the 933rd meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on: " Youth, Peace and Security in Africa "

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 933rd meeting held on 23 June 2020, on Youth, Peace and Security in Africa adopted the Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security and the 10 year implementation plan as well as endorsed the study on the Roles and Contributions of Youth to peace and security in Africa.

https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/eng-933rd-psc-final-communique-on-youth-peace-and-security.pdf

3.  Communique of the 963rd meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on: " Youth, Peace and Security: Advancing Youth Roles and Capacities for Silencing the Guns in Africa "

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 963rd meeting, held on 12 November 2020, to an Open Session on the theme: “Youth, Peace and Security: Advancing Youth Roles and Capacities for Silencing the Guns in Africa” in commemoration of the Africa Youth Month.

https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/eng-final-press-statement-of-the-963rd-psc-open-session-on-youth-peace-...pdf

 B.      ASSEMBLY OF THE UNION THIRTY-THIRD ORDINARY SESSION: DECISIONS, DECLARATIONS, RESOLUTION AND MOTION

Decision [Assembly/AU/Dec. 753] adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 33rd Ordinary Session held from 9 to 10 February 2020 requested the AU Commission to institutionalize the Youth for Peace Africa Programme within the Peace and Security Department with the designation of a dedicated desk to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders and facilitate its full operationalization with a view to meeting the increasing expectations of the youth across the Continent; and endorsed the five African Regional Youth Ambassadors for Peace representing the five regions of the AU and encourages them to promote youth efforts on peace and security; In this respect, congratulating the five (5) regional African youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP).

 https://au.int/sites/default/files/decisions/38180-assembly_au_dec_749-795_xxxiii_e.pdf

African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAPs)


The PSC requested the Commission to appoint five (5) regional African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP) to work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace and security on the continent. In tandem with the communiqué of the 807th meeting of the PSC, the Y4P Africa program in collaboration with the RECs/RMs and the AU Youth Envoy launched a call for application to all African youth and afterwards shortlisted 15 applicants, three (3) from each of the five (5) regions of Africa for a training and assessment workshop in November 2019. The training and assessment workshop provided a platform to sensitize the 15 applicants on the AU normative frameworks and operations on peace and security and also accorded an opportunity for the RECs/RMs, AUC and development partners to assess the capacity and competence of the youth, a development that facilitated the selection of one AYAP per region. The selected AYAPs were presented to the PSC at its second open session on YPS in November 2019 for consideration and approval. Subsequently, on recommendation by the PSC, the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments held in February 2020 endorsed the appointment of the AYAPs. In collaboration with the relevant RECs/RMs and AU, the AYAPs are elected for a two-year non-renewable tenure and are mandated to advocate and promote the mainstreaming and inclusion of young Africans in peace and security by amplifying their contributions and resilience, challenges and encouraging policy and programmatic actions to address the challenges and enhance their contributions. 


Name: ACHALEKE CHRISTIAN LEKE
Region: Central Africa
Area of Expertise: International development, Peace building, violent extremism, conflict prevention, children and youth development.
Country of Origin: Cameroon


Biography: Achaleke Christian Leke is an international development, peacebuilding and violent extremism expert with 15 years of experience working as a practitioner, researcher and academic from Cameroon. He holds an MSc in Conflict Security and Development from the University of Birmingham. His work has been influenced by his childhood experience of growing up in a violent community. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Local Youth Corner Cameroon, a leading youth-led peace building organization in Cameroon. In his 15 years of work, Christian has executed over 600 youth development and peace building project in Cameroon and across the world impacting over 2 million people. His work around facilitating community dialogues for peace and youth-led Mediators’ Network has amplified efforts of peace and security in Cameroon. His engagement in supporting former violent and violent extremist offenders in prisons and children affected by Boko Haram insurgency remains among his key milestone. As of 2014 Achaleke became a key stakeholder in Cameroon and globally towards the development and implementation of UNSCR 2250, 2419 and 2535. He is currently the initiator of the Youth Peace and Security Coalition in Cameroon and is leading processes of localizing the Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security and the development of a National Action Plan in Cameroon. Achaleke’s work has been grazed with several recognitions including; featuring in 2021, 2020, 2017 & 2016 Africa’s List of 100 Most Influential Young Africans. In 2020 he was featured as a UNESCO Real-Life Hero. In 2018 he was awarded the Luxembourg Peace as an Outstanding Young Peace Maker.  He was named by the Commonwealth Secretary-General as Commonwealth Youth Champion in 2016 and was recognized as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2016.


Name: DIANA CHANDO
Region: Eastern Africa
Area of Expertise: The political climate and its effects on security in Africa, Communication and Diplomacy.
Country of Origin: Tanzania


Biography: Ms. Diana Chando is a young Tanzanian, zealous for human rights, education, peace, and security. She is a lawyer and a Sustainable Development Goal Champion. Her dedication to the peace agenda began after she received her training at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, where she was certified as a UN delegate. During which she represented the youth in various forums that involved peace issues such as the UN Women Forum in London on Ending “violence against women” where she was a speaker in the UK Parliament. She also attended the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation event on honouring the late Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in London. She also attended the Commonwealth Summit as a representative from Tanzania also in London. In 2020 she was the only young Tanzanian in an online panel with WHO, OHCHR & UN. The discussions included the measures and containment on how the pandemic has affected Africa’s security socially and economically. She graduated her Bachelor’s Degree in LLB Law with international relations from Middlesex University in London England. Her Master’s Degree in Science of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania is her current endeavour. Her international presence has been noted by social and local media that led to interviews and features in articles. She believes that as an advocate social media is a great tool to educate, promote and challenge communities to do better. Diana’s vision for Africa as a continent is of peace, security, stability at all levels, with unity at the forefront of this perspective.


Name: KHOULOUD BAGHOURI
Region: North Africa
Area of Expertise: Gender Development, GBV, Peace & Security, Post Conflict Response, DRR, PVE, Advocacy
Country of Origin: Tunisia


Biography: Khouloud Baghouri Is a young female activist passionate about gender development & Women's rights. She works largely to promote sustainable development and stand up for the rights of children and young women. She is an Alumna of the MEPI program - on expanding Youth understanding of participatory governance, leadership, and Civic Engagement. She has worked with many INGOs and facilitated many sessions on both the national and international levels. Khouloud was chosen in the first cohort of the UN Women Regional Office of the Arab States Program 'Young Women Peacebuilders' where she shifted her knowledge and gained more insights about Women in Peace and Security. She has been invited as a speaker at several events and she recently won the Global Sustainability Award. Khouloud studied Conflict Resolution at California State University, Chico, and aims at having more academic expertise in this field. In continuity with her learning journey she is working on strengthening her expertise in the Post Conflict Response (PCR), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Crime and Violence Prevention.


Name: CYNTHIA CHIGWENYA
Region: Southern Africa
Area of expertise: Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Sustainable Development and Green Finance
Country of origin: Zimbabwe


Biography: Cynthia currently is the African Youth Ambassador for Peace (AYAP) for Southern Africa. She is a Political Researcher who has conducted extensive studies on post-conflict peacebuilding and development in Africa. These studies include reconstruction in post-genocide Rwanda, conflict mediation in South Sudan, comparative analyses of Zimbabwe’s legal framework on reconciliation; the transferability of traditional justice mechanisms and administration of reparation grants. Cynthia’s academic background is in Criminology, Criminal Justice and International Studies. She holds a Master of Arts in Development Studies from Witwatersrand University and is an MPhil in Social Policy and Development. Cynthia has previously held research positions in the South African Parliament and at the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide in Rwanda, where she contributed to the United Nations’ report on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Thus far, Cynthia has worked with several organisations promoting and advancing the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.


Name: MOHAMED KUNTA
Region: West African
Area of Expertise: Peace building conflict analysis and mitigation
Country of Origin: Sierra Leone


Biography: Mohamed Kunta is a strong feminist and youth Ambassador, who has embarked on national and international advocacy campaigns and research on education, health, youth empowerment, peace building, conflict analysis and mitigation. With over 8 years of experience working with different institutions in several capacities.   Proven track record on deadline driven, strong ability to multi-task and successfully coordinate multiple projects simultaneously, ability to manage large complex program and project as needed dictate proven ability to build relationship and influence key partners and the ability to get result through collaboration. Currently serving as the Learning and development advisor for Youth in Partnership for peace and development, is a civil society youth led advocacy organization that focus on peace building conflict analysis and mitigation in Sierra Leone. In 2014, Mohamed Kunta was appointed by the former president as young people commissioner at the national commission for children, to advice the government on the best interest of young people, and monitors the implement of the African chart and the convention on the right of the child. Since 2012, Mohamed kunta have led several training sessions and facilitate programs on youth leadership, Communication Skills, conduct research on SRHR and SGBV. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone and a Diploma Certificate in Social Work.

**The first cohort of African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP)

** The second cohort of African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP)


IV.  Major Activities of Y4P


1.      Launch of the youth silencing the guns campaign

On 24 July 2020 the Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Amb. Smail Chergui, officially launch the Youth Silencing the Guns Campaign with the major objective of mobilizing and advancing the efforts of youth for the implementation of the STG agenda.

 https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/cps-keynote-at-youth-stg-launch.pdf

 2.      Commemoration of the International Day of Peace

On 21 September 2020 the Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) will commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2020 on the theme “Youth as Agents for Silencing the Guns and Shaping Peace in Africa”.

https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/final-draft-concept-note-peace-day.pdf

 V.  Documents


1. Continental Framework for Youth, Peace and Security and the 10-Year Implementation Plan

In collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), AGA Secretariat and youth Division the framework was finalized, validated (by the PSC Experts, RECs/RMs and the youth in the continent) and adopted by the PSC.

Framework

English: https://peaceau.org/uploads/au-continental-framework-web.pdf

French:https://au.int/sites/default/files/documents/39150-doc cadre_continental_pour_les_jeunes_la_paix_et_la_securite_docx.pdf

Implementation Plan: 

English: https://peaceau.org/uploads/au-implementation-plan-web.pdf  

French:https://au.int/sites/default/files/documents/39148-doc-fr_implementation_plan_for_continental_yps_framework.pdf

2.   A study on the Roles and Contributions of Youth to Peace and Security in Africa

Y4P Africa Program in collaboration with the Youth Division held a methodological workshop with researchers and youth organizations to identify and develop concrete steps and guidelines for the conduct of the study held from 12 to 14 December 2018 in Addis Ababa. It was decided to hire 5 consultants one for each region and hold 5 regional consultations as well as field visits in 10 Member States, two (2) from each region to finalize the continental study of the roles and contributions of youth to Peace and Security in Africa. To get youth to participate in the regional consultations we set out a call for application and received over 1000 applicants, after discussing internally we selected 2 from each 55 countries to participate.

The Y4P Africa Program of the Peace and Security Department conducted five regional consultations with the support of different partners in West Africa in Abuja, Nigeria from 8th to 9th May 2019, Southern Africa held from 21st to 22nd May 2019 in Gaborone, Botswana, East Africa held in Asmara, Eritrea from 10th to 11th June 2019, Central Africa held from 14th to 15th June 2019 in Libreville, Gabon and North Africa held from 3 to 4 August in Tunis, Tunisia. Following the consultations, the report was consolidated and presented to the experts of the PSC at the pre-validation workshop. After the pre-validation, the report has been consolidated the inputs from the experts of the PSC was presented to the RECs/RMs and youth organizations to validate the study. Finally, the Study was endorsed by the PSC on 23 June 2020.

English: https://peaceau.org/uploads/au-study-youth-africa-web.pdf  

French: https://au.int/sites/default/files/documents/39509-doc-final-yps-study-report-french-20-10-2020.pdf

3.      Contacts


Email: Youth4PeaceAfrica@africa-union.org;

            SituationRoom@africa-union.org;

Focal Person:  

                       Ms. Gloria Kabage, GloriaK@africa-union.org;

                       Ms. Nyaboth Paska Alfred, NyabothP@africa-union.org;

                       Mr. Taye Abdulkadir, tayea@africa-union.org