The 2013 African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC), the fifth in a series, has been launched in Accra, with a call on all stakeholders to make a contribution towards its success.
The conference, which is planned to coincide with the International Youth Day (IYD) 2013, is expected to provide another excellent opportunity to deepen global youth dialogue through their participation.
The conference would discuss the core issues facing the youth by calling and working with all stakeholders including African governments, development agencies, educational institutions, the private sector and the youth themselves to develop and implement appropriate policies and programmes to reap the benefits presented by the potentially large creative force of youth power.
About 250 youth delegates from over 35 African countries and African Diaspora including youth delegates from the European Youth Parliament (EYP) and the Americas are attending the three-day conference to be hosted by the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) from the 7th to the 9th of August, 2013 in Accra.
The theme for the conference is ‘Youth Inclusive Governance―Harnessing Africa’s Demographic Potential.’
Addressing a news conference to launch the conference in Accra, the Executive Director of YBF, Mr Seth Oteng, noted that given the right platform, training and exposure, the young African would be positioned to champion a sustainable development agenda in peace in Africa.
Mr Oteng said the YBF was committed to working with partners such as the Statistical Service of Ghana in defining a road map for Ghana in relation to demographic trends and development.
In a statement to launch the conference, Dr Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, noted that without strong institutions and favourable economic policies to tap the huge potential of the youth, the prospects of Africa’s young population becoming the driving force behind the continent’s economic prosperity would be elusive, as large numbers of young adults could face labour markets that would be unable to provide them with gainful employment.
It was in the absence of an annual event to mobilise the youth of Africa together that the AYGC was established in 2009 as a continental platform for the critical discussion of issues affecting the development of the continent, in general, and the youth, in particular.
Since its inception, the AYGC has been organised with the collaboration of the Government of Ghana, through a non-partisan multi-sectoral support from the Presidency, Ministries of Youth and Sports, Foreign Affairs and the Interior as well as support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), UN-Volunteer Programme, NEWMONT and Kenya Airways, among others.
On the other hand, the YBF, established in 2009, has gained wide international recognition, having been accredited in 2011 with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Consultative Status which confers on the YBF a number of privileges and obligations in promoting youth development.
The core mission of the YBF is to bridge socio-economic and political gap to ensure positive youth development.