Group seeks youth participation in policy making, promotes AU agenda 2063
Youths under the platform of Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) Nigeria in conjunction with YMCA Africa Alliance have charged Nigerian and African leaders to allow youth participation in policy-making to achieve the Africa Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
Speaking in Lagos on The Africa We Want, Acting Chairman of YMCA Lagos, Olakunle Ogundimu, said the agenda was a call to action for the African youths to demand participation in policies and decisions that concern them.
The African youths, he stressed, needed to re-educate and dedicate themselves to let their leaders understand that they are the future and as such no decision should be made without their inputs.
The agenda 2063 formulated by the AU in 2013 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent in the next 50 years and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
Ogundimu noted that for the agenda to succeed, African leaders must appreciate its bottom up approach, which indicates an extensive inclusion of African people driven by the youth, rather than the normal bureaucratic way of decision-making.
“We need to bring the opinions and suggestions of the youth to bear on policies formulated for them because it is in the best interest of the nation,” he added.
The facilitator of the dialogue, Kunle Sobode explained that with reference to the data on the agenda across Africa, the youths face similar challenges of unemployment, poverty, low participation in politics and fear of an uncertain future, among others.
Sobode maintained that the reason for poor participation of youth in policy-making process is because they are not realistic and so the youths cannot identify with them, as they are always left out during the policy formulations.
“We need realistic policies and not just paper documents. We need to talk about things that affect us as young people and the reason we have to be involved in deciding what happens to our future,” he added.
He, however, commended the Nigerian government for passing the not too young to run bill, saying it shows government’s intention to open up the process for young people to participate in governance.
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