Promoting youth empowerment and volunteering for sustainable development in Africa towards Agenda 2063

The Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, Youth Division together with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) hosted a side event at the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) meeting under the theme,  Promoting Youth Empowerment and Volunteering for Sustainable Development in Africa towards Agenda 2063.   

The objectives of this meeting was to mainly highlight the role of volunteerism in harnessing the demographic dividend and also to market and promote youth volunteerism in Africa with a key focus on the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC).

Acting Director of Human Resources Science and Technology division Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo welcomed the participants and pointed out that investment in youth is very important to the African Union which is why the 26th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government declared 2017 as the year of "Harnessing Demographic dividend through investment in youth".

Standing in for the Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E Dr Anthony Mothae Maruping, Commissioner for Economic Affairs highlighted that in countries where volunteerism is documented, is estimated that volunteerism in some cases contributes up to a quarter of a nation’s GDP. He added that the Africa Union Youth Volunteer Corps which aims to accelerate youth empowerment and development through volunteerism faces administrative and financial challenges common to most development programs.

Mr Richard Dictus, the Executive Coordinator of UNV, gave presentation on the impact of youth volunteering in creating sustainable peace and development. He mentioned that volunteerism brings creativity and that volunteerism work needs to have a framework.

The meeting was a preceded by a one day workshop by youth who drafted a statement towards TICAD VI. The statement was presented by Mr Musa Frimpong an African Union Youth Volunteer and also Ms Joyous Begisen a United Nations Volunteer. They both went on to share their volunteering journeys.