NEWS

ACCORD in partnership with the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy convened an East African Intergenerational Dialogue on Youth Silencing the Guns

1 Sep 2020

IGD East Africa

The IGD identified the key roles and activities that East African youth can play to advance the STG agenda; as well as the challenges and gaps that hinder the effective participation and contributions of the youth to silencing the guns.

ACCORD in partnership with The African Union (AU) Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE) convened an East African regional Intergenerational Dialogue (IGD) on the 1st September 2020, under the theme: Youth Silencing the Guns (STG). This was done to foster co-leadership on the theme of the year, Silencing the Guns under Agenda 2063. This theme was further unpacked into five different sub-themes and these included; a conflict free Africa; silencing poverty, hunger, youth unemployment; silencing gender-based violence; silencing corruption; and silencing climate change. The purpose of these IGDs is to solicit youth perspectives on the challenges they face, as well as their aspirations towards silencing the guns in Africa. The key speakers during this dialogue included Dr. Albino Bol Dhieu – Honourable Minister of Youth and Sport (South Sudan), and Dr. Solomon Ayele Dersso – Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.

The IGD identified the key roles and activities that East African youth can play to advance the STG agenda; as well as the challenges and gaps that hinder the effective participation and contributions of the youth to silencing the guns. It further discussed ways to foster intergenerational co-leadership on silencing the guns and promotion of governance, peace, security, and development. Lastly, it provided policy and action-oriented recommendations to address the identified challenges and barriers to youth’s participation, as well as maximise opportunities and enhance their contributions.

The broad recommendations from the IGD called for youth participation and inclusion in governance, youth leadership development, strengthening the understanding of ‘silencing the guns’ challenges; and enhancing of the implementation on ‘silencing the guns’ programmes.

More specifically, emphasis was brought to the fact that the leadership capacity of the youth in East Africa needs to be enhanced by training them in issue-specific expertise (particularly peace and development) as well as leadership skills, providing them with the relevant networks for mentoring, and giving them opportunities to serve in policy-making and other decision-making roles. Inter-generational Dialogues (IGDs), such as these convened by the AU OYE and ACCORD, that involve representatives of the youth, past and current leaders, must be regularly convened on important issues concerning peace, stability and development in East Africa if the leadership capacity of the youth is to be effectively developed. Any processes of managing or mitigating conflict must be evidence-based, as such evidence-driven measures must be taken to gain the confidence and trust of communities, especially the youth, in ongoing peace-processes and peacebuilding initiatives (particularly in South Sudan and Somalia). Additionally, building on existing mechanisms is essential in delivering a robust and agile networking framework to connect youth organizations, youth volunteers, government agencies and established Civil Society Organizations working on high-impact issues around the “Silencing the Guns” Agenda in East Africa.

This IGD was part of a series of six regional African IGDs convened in cooperation with AU OYE and the Kofi Anan Foundation, under the STG theme, and is in line with ACCORD’s strategic objective to strengthen the capacities of youth to participate in peace and security initiatives.

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