According to the website of African Union, Africa Youth Day is a day set annually every 1st of November to celebrate the development works of young Africans all over the continent. Youth here refer to every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years. This year’s event was held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Few young African leaders were given the platform to exhibit their development works in the continent. Nigeria’s Prince Ifoh, who is the Founder and President of the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) – a continental movement birthed for the sole purpose of moving Africa to the First World Status – was amongst the few who caught the eyes of the African Union Commissioner, HRST – Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga who was also impressed at the works of the organisation already existing in 25 African nations.
The 7th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, held in Banjul The Gambia,
Adopted on 2nd July 2006 the “African Youth Charter” which was endorsed by State Parties as the first legal framework of Action for the African Youth and invited the Member States to take appropriate steps for the signing and ratification of the Charter as well as for its popularization.
The States Party to the African Union Charter are urged to recognize the Rights, freedoms and duties enshrined in the Charter.
Main Provisions of the Charter.
Every young person shall be entitled to the enjoyments of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the Charter irrespective of their race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.
States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that youth are protected against all forms of discrimination on the basis of status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs.
State Parties shall recognize the rights of Young people from ethnic, religious and linguistic marginalized groups or youth of indigenous origin, to enjoy their own culture, freely practise their own religion or to use their own language in community with other members of their group.
Every young person has the right to leave any country, including his/her own, and to return to his/her country.
Every young person shall have the right to free association and freedom of peaceful assembly in conformity with the law.
Every young person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The family, as the most basic social institution, shall enjoy the full protection and support of States Parties for its establishment and development noting that the structure and form of families varies in different social and cultural contexts.
Resolution on inclusion of African Youth
The NGO Forum of the 57th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights that was held in Banjul The Gambia adopted a Resolution on the Inclusion of Youth that called for the elimination of obstacles to, facing the human rights situation of African Youth of whom are unemployed, living situations of poverty and hunger, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS pandemic, power and access, engaging in armed conflicts, experiencing various forms of discrimination and harmful cultural practices, experiencing illiteracy and poor quality of educational systems and the creation of structures that enable youth participation in the emphasis on the human rights situation of young women who face structural and cultural barriers Example FGM, youth human rights defenders and youth in conflict; the provision of resources, capacity and opportunities for youth education, employment and entrepreneurship and the removal of obstacles for the free movement of youth across Africa to achieve goal 15 of the African Union`s Agenda 2063. In Africa and other AU standards and mechanisms including NEPAD’s Strategic Framework for Youth Programme and commitments made in commemoration of Africa Youth Day on 1 November 2015.