On Friday the 3rd of September 2021, ACCORD and its Training for Peace Programme in collaboration with the African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme (Y4P) Africa Programme, hosted a virtual Inter-Generational Dialogue (IGD) promoting the Continental Framework for Youth, Peace and Security’s (CFYPS) priority area of ‘prevention’. In recognising youth as key peace actors, the IGD provided the space to promote the need to strengthen young people’s capacity for conflict prevention and encourage entry points for competent youth to undertake prevention activities.
Dr. Rhuks Ako, Senior Analyst within the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission (AUC), moderated the session with ACCORD’s Programme Officer, Ms. Rumbidzaishe Matambo. The inter-generational panel was made up of highly competent individuals spanning civil society, non-governmental organisations, and regional and continental policymakers. The panel comprised of; Mr. Taye Abdulkadir, Senior Technical Member at the African Union Continental Early Warning System; Ms. Hanna Mamo, a Consultant to the AUC, supporting the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division; Ms. Karabo Mokgonyana, AU Youth Ambassador for Peace; Mr. Nqobile Moyo, Chair of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict Youth, Peace and Security Working Group; and Dr. Onyinye Onwuka, Head of the Political Affairs and International Cooperation Division at ECOWAS.
The panel discussion revealed the importance of involving the youth in conflict prevention and panellists highlighted some of the programmes and entry points for young people to build conflict prevention capacity. As such, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is in the process of establishing a youth parliament and offers various internships through their youth centre. A recurring theme amongst both panellists and participants is that young people have the will to contribute to conflict prevention, which can be supported through capacity building. All panellists emphasised that the starting point would be for young people to understand and take ownership of the existing frameworks that can guide youth within the peace and security environment.
This dialogue is premised on the identification of youth as a key constituency when it comes to building local and national capacities for peace. Furthermore, this virtual dialogue speaks to ACCORD’s strategic pillar 4, which is on increasing the role of youth in peace processes.ACCORD and Y4P are using this series of dialogues to unpack the CFYPS and its role in facilitating the effective and meaningful involvement of youth in all spectrums of governance, peace, and security. There are three more IGDs planned – one for each of the remaining overarching priorities identified by the CFYPS.