The African Union (AU) on Saturday reiterated its commitment to engaging member states to develop youth-driven human and peoples’ rights policies and programs.
Commemorating the 2017 Africa Human Rights Day, the pan-African bloc urged all member states and regional economic communities to take steps at national and sub-regional levels.
This year, 2017, is dedicated to youth rights as it was declared the year of “Harnessing Youth Demographic Dividends though Investment in the Youth,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission.
The focus on youth rights is a culmination of the AU’s sustained move toward deepening all dimensions of the human and peoples’ rights culture on the continent, the chairman said.
Africa’s population, now at 1.2 billion, is expected to more than double by 2050, and 60 percent of the continent’s population are under 25 years. In 2050, Africa will be home to 452 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24.
“The youth drive, ambition and potential provide our member states with an extraordinary asset,” Faki said. “Through this year’s Human Rights Day theme ‘Enhancing Youth Contribution – Toward Effective Implementation of the Action Plan of the Human and Peoples’ Rights Decade in Africa,’ our union is confirming that its priority is to empower its teeming youth population to play a central role in key areas of the continent’s engagement.”
“Having the youth assuming a lead in policy formulation and implementation, as well as managing its rightful political, economic and social spaces, is paramount to shaping their future and ensuring a more prosperous present and future for Africa,” he added. Enditem