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[REPORT] Youth Consultations 2016 – Curating Youth Perspectives

2016 marked the fourth year in which the African Governance Architecture has ensured a deliberate and structured participation of young people in the programmes of the African Governance Platform, as guided by the African Governance Architecture Youth Engagement Strategy (AGA-YES). This is especially true for our flagship initiative, the Annual High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance where AGA has instituted an annual youth pre-forum. The pre-forum provides a platform for young people to share their expertise and input into policy making processes for a given thematic focus.

In 2016, AGA facilitated regional conversations as a mechanism for fostering inter-state experience sharing and collaboration amongst youth actors. Under the auspices of the African Union (AU) theme of the year, Human Rights with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women, AGA organized four Regional Consultations covering the five regions of Africa. Culminating from a rigorous and open selection process, over 250 young people converged in Accra, Windhoek, Kampala and Tunis to shape the conversations around the human rights environment they want to live and thrive in. Participants articulated their visions, concerns and realities pertaining to the human rights situation in their respective countries and made concrete inputs to the proposed AU Ten-Year Action and Implementation Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Africa.

To maximize engagement and learning, AGA ensured an inter-generational and multi-disciplinary approach to allow for broad and informed exchange between the leaders of yesterday, today and tomorrow to curate concerns, insights and perspectives on advancing human rights on the continent. The 2016 Regional Youth Consultations also gave rise to a knowledge-sharing platform; Africa Talks DG Trends through which young Africans showcased their innovative solutions and initiatives to some of the continent’s human rights and democratic governance challenges. Henceforth, Africa Talks DG Trends is going to be an institutionalized platform for the Annual High Level Dialogue and its Youth Pre-forum.

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