Under the recently launched Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Youth Volunteer Corps, ECCAS in partnership with ACCORD held a dialogue on Regional Integration in Central Africa on 05 August 2022.
Commissioner for Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development, Ms. Kapinga-Yvette Ngandu, co – moderated the dialogue with the African Union Youth Ambassador for Peace (AYAP) for Central Africa, Christian Acheleke Leke. This dialogue provided a space for engagement and encouraged entry points for ECCAS to effectively implement the Youth Volunteer Programme and youth led initiatives.
The key speakers, included H.E. Ambassador Sebastein Ntahuga; Ms. Chantal Mulop, Special Advisor to the President of DRC on Youth, Gender and Violence against Women; Ms. Chido Mpemba, African Union Youth Envoy; Ms. Rosiane Kabangu, Common Market for Eastern and Sothern Africa COMMES Youth Advisory Panel; Ms. Ache Seid Abakar, President of African Women Dignity Association; and Ms. Kessy Ekomo Soignet, Executive Director of URU.
In Central Africa, young people do not have enough appropriate mechanisms to enable them to express their potential to the fullest and this is despite the persistent efforts of member states to address these issues. A bottom-up approach is necessary to bridge the gap between government officials and communities, as young people are mostly engaged at a local community level. Youth face a number of challenges that are not adequately addressed in policies at national and regional level. To address these issues, the panellists highlighted the importance of co-ordinated responses and interventions at a regional level.
The information shared during the dialogue, allowed the participants to better to understand the current policies and architectures in place to facilitate the inclusion of youth. They were also provided with the information the ECCAS Youth Volunteer Corps and the possible assistance available to young people individually and collectively.
Young people are key stakeholders in ensuring peacebuilding efforts are implemented for the mitigation and prevention of conflict. As young people in the region want to be included in the conceptualisation and development processes of youth interventions, this module series will further ensure the proper integration of youth in the Region.
ACCORD will continue to provide the needed support towards the development of a strong youth network in the ECCAS Region.