Saturday, October 29, 2011

African Youth Day 2011 - Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development; HOW WILL YOU BE COMMEMORATING IT?

Saturday, October 29, 2011
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The African Youth Day (AYD), commemorated every year on the 1st November was first declared during the African Union Heads of States Summit in Banjul, The Gambia in 2006 after the endorsement the African Youth Charter (AYC), and the declaration of 2008 as the Year of African Youthby the second Ordinary Session of the Conference of Ministries in charge of youth (COMY II) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

The 2011 commemorations activities will be held under the theme "Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development", where the focus will be on "Building Youth Friendly Governments".

Member States and indeed all African countries are encouraged to commemorate the day to further reinforce and support the decisions and outcomes of the 17th African Heads of States Summit, Malabo (2011). The African Union has stressed that the African Youth Day celebrations are one occasion that Africa must utilize to pursue dialogue between African leaders and the youth, but also implement visible initiatives targeting young people.
The continental commemorations will be held in Khartoum, Sudan on 1st November with an event bring together leaders from the AU, the Government of Sudan, Youth Representatives through the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU) and the diplomatic community. Specific activities will include a procession led by the PYU, keynote speeches, a youth video screening and much more.

You can also commemorate the Africa Youth Day. There are many activities you can do. These are some of the things we are suggesting;

  1. African Youth Charter; if your country has not signed and ratified the charter, you can use this day to mobilize support for and call on your country to expadite the process. Less than 40 countries have signed and less than 30 have ratified the charter. There is a lot of work to do.
  2. The Decade on Youth Development Action Plan; if your country has ratified the charter, you need to know that this action plan exists (adopted in 2010 - we will be featuring an article soon on this plan) as a road-map to the implementation of the African Youth Charter. You publicize, bring together youth actors and government to raise awareness and examine the plan.
  3. Youth Dialogue, Forums; you can also hold you gatherings to reflect on the status of youth in your country.
  4. Competitions, Rally, Public Events; to mobilize support for and raise awareness on the African Youth Day, you can also hold these public events. You can hold you competitions (sports events, essays, public speaking etc), hold a rally and other types of public events.
These are some of our ideas. We look forward to hearing what you did.

We will attempt to establish contact with those activities and share with you some visuals from the commemorations as we receive them.  
You can also share your activities with us.  Tell us how your country is commemorating the African Youth Day in 2011. Send us some information and we will make sure you are featured on the Blog. Send us Pictures. Video and their short descriptions to

Here is a quick timeline for previous African Youth Day Commemorations;


In 2010, the theme of the commemorations was "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding". This was a shared theme with the International Year of Youth. Activities included the African Youth Development Forum at the African Union Headquarters to deliberate on the theme and launch the International Year of Youth in Africa. The commemorations were organized in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa and other specialized agencies. 


For 2009, the theme was "Productive Youth for Stability and Economic Development". In a joint statement with the YMCA, which worked closely with the African Union in holding its Youth Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the commemorations, the Africa Union indicated that "it selected this theme to encourage youth involvement in contributing to economic development, poverty reduction and conscientious efforts to promote human development and stability in member States".


In 2008, the commemorations were held under the theme "Peace, Solidarity and Positive Values promoted by the African Youth". Activities behind these commemorations focused on promoting the African Youth Charter, the African Youth Anthem and the 2nd Edition of African Youth Initiative and Creativity Award. 


The AYD was first commemorated 2007 under the theme "Partnership between African Youth and Public authorities". The commemorations were colored by an array of activities, including the AYC Poster Competition and Youth Initiative Award, preparations for the AYD 2008 and Year of African Youth 2008 among others. 

Editorial Team.
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