Africa’s youth urged to advocate for multilateralism, shape continent’s development

Youth Africa
Youth Africa

African youth have been urged to raise their voice in shaping the future development of the continent and to advocate for multilateralism toward a better future.

The call was made by experts and policymakers attending the African Youth Consultative Forum on the UN Summit of the Future held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Friday and Saturday.

Claver Gatete, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said that 70 percent of the population in Africa are young people and that by 2030, 42 percent of the global youth will be from Africa.

“You cannot have the future without developing the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow. Youth have to participate in all spheres of the implementation of the SDGs by 2030,” Gatete said, as he called for a stronger role of the youth in Agenda 2063.

Gatete elaborated on the multiplicity of challenges being faced by African countries, including the debt servicing burden, lack of access to affordable financing and the ongoing push for the reform of the global financial architecture to meet the needs of African countries.

“It is therefore critical for the youth to have a say in these discussions so that their ideas are considered in the Summit of the Future in September 2024,” he said, adding that “we need your voice and your contribution; this is the time to make your contribution.”

Felipe Paullier, UN assistant secretary-general of youth affairs, on his part called on young people to participate in the reform of the United Nations system to deepen global cooperation and protect their interests.

Paullier said the youth must be part of the discussion process in the countdown to the upcoming Summit of the Future, which is scheduled to be held in September 2024, because multilateralism augurs well for youth inclusion in securing a better future.

“The problem is not in young people; the problem is in the institutions we have. We have 19th-century institutions to respond to the challenges of the 21st century, so we need to transform these institutions and if we do not transform them, we are ruined,” he said.

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