Forty UKZN students and staff members from various faculties represented fifteen Member States at a simulated AU PSC session.
Free Movement of Persons enjoys central stage in the African Union (AU) agenda today. To this end, consultations are taking place at different levels with the view of deepening continental integration and unity in Africa. Recent AU summits and Peace and Security Council (PSC) sessions have deliberated these issues exclusively.
In support of this agenda, ACCORD, together with the School of Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), hosted a simulation of the AU PSC session (on the same topic) as part of the Model African Union (MAU) Conference was held on 13 September 2017 in Durban, South Africa. Being the first such project, it took place at UKZN with approximately 40 UKZN students and staff members from across the humanities, engineering, management and science faculties. The students, who represented the fifteen PSC Member States showed an in-depth understanding of the challenges around Free Movement in Africa, an issue which was deliberated on by the PSC during its 704th PSC Meeting on the Free Movement of People in Africa and Mitigating Security Impediments, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Following strict time management, the students experienced the pressure and timeliness in which diplomats and their international representatives respond to critical issues affecting Africa and the globe. They were equally informed of the processes around policy conception, deliberation and adoption, and appreciated the challenges to reach consensus internationally. UKZNdaba Online, Volume 5 (52) reported that “The students were given an opportunity to engage in intense debate at the very high diplomatic level.” Mr. Mathew Rotimi, an Economics PhD student, who represented Chad, admitted to having enjoyed the challenge of conducting analytical research on the subject of Free Movement and migration in Chad, and sharing knowledge and experiences with like-minded peers he may never have met outside of the provided platform.
Based, therefore, on the interest expressed in Africa’s policy making processes, ACCORD will consider partnerships for similar simulations, which help youth and students to sharpen their research and analytical skills; their negotiation and mediation skills; and their presentation and public speaking skills. Lessons from these would help prepare students and youth for the world of work and prepare them to take key leadership positions in their communities, countries and continent.
The MAU Conference: PSC Meeting Simulation is in line with ACCORD’s strategic goals Pillar 4, which speaks to “increased role of youth in peace processes.” ACCORD was represented by Mr. Kwezi Mngqibisa, Mr. Charles Nyuykonge, Ms. Sibusisiwe Nkosi, Ms. Nonjabulo Mazibuko and Mr. Wandile Langa.
For more information, please contact Ms Nonjabulo Mazibuko NonjabuloB@accord.org.za and Mr Wandile Langa firstname.lastname@example.org.