Intergenerational Dialogue on Communication and the Youth Peace and Security Agenda

Photo Credit: Paidamwoyo Mudzimuirema (ACCORD Communications)

Exploring the power of improved communications as a catalyst for the youth peace and security agenda.

ACCORD, in collaboration with the African Union’s (AU) Youth for Peace (Africa) Programme (Y4P), hosted an intergenerational dialogue (IGD) on Communication in the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda on 4 November 2022, via Zoom. This IGD was the fifth dialogue in a series, which aims to expand on the five cross- cutting issues that influence the effective involvement of the youth in all levels of peace and security. Previous IGDs in the series have included discussions on gender, mainstreaming, inclusivity, and capacity building, and a discussion on knowledge management will take place on 2 December 2022. 

The IGD presented an opportunity for youth to reflect on communication strategies and the role of communications in matters of youth, peace and security. Moreover, this IGD allowed the youth participants to gain a better understanding on to contribute to, and use communication in Youth Peace and Security (YPS) advocacy whilst fulfilling the YPS agenda. The Youth Peace and Security Agenda was launched in 2018 to effectively engage, collaborate and involve the youth in the promotion of peace and security on the continent. 

Ms Diana Paul Chando, the African Youth Ambassador for Peace for the East African Region, Mr, Jules Hoareau, the Information Manager in the East African Standby force, Ms Laura Ijang, the WE-connect Counselling Call Centre Project Supervisor served as the expert panellists for the session. Ms Musatondwa Mafelatshuma, Tik Tok Content Partnerships Manager, Mr Paschal Chem-Langhee, Communications Expert from the African Union Political Affairs, Peace and Security department, and Mr Wilker De Assis De Sousa Dias, a Political and Communications Consultant were present in the session to provide their expertise in the field of communication. 

Ms Orit Ibrahim, the co-convener of the African Union Youth for Peace Programme, and ACCORD’s Programme Officer, Ms Savannah Wilmot, moderated the panel discussion. Focus was drawn to communication being a key tool in the advocacy of the Youth and Peace Security Agenda in the continent. The panellists agreed on the essential need for understanding communication when creating pathways to peace, and resolving conflict amongst people, thereby opening further channels between institutions of governance and the people.  The panellists also discussed the effective use of communication and the need for communication to be directed where the ears of the young people are present, placing greater emphasis on platforms such as social media.  Social media platforms have created a space where information can be easily shared and accessible, and therefore more information on YPS agenda, advocacy and policy processes need to be channelled through different social media streams in order to be captured by the youth. 

One of the challenges expressed by the panellists was the exclusion of young people in the processes of policy and decision-making. This exclusion restricts young people’s contributions in matters of Peace and Security whilst creating a gap between institutions and the youth. One of the recommendations in solving this problem was for the youth to be exposed to more IGD’s focusing on youth involvement in policy-making institutions.  

Follow ACCORD for the next IGD in this 2022 series that will take place on Friday, 2 December 2022, where we will discuss the importance on knowledge management in the YPS agenda. To view all previous dialogues, as well as other ACCORD events, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ACCORDDurban/videos.

Article by:

Aphile-amanzima Mazibuko
Community Development Officer at She Leads
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