Media Advisory

“Accelerating Youth Development [and harnessing the Demographic Dividend] in Africa”

19 May 2016
Gambia hosts the 10th anniversary celebrations of the African Youth Charter, with over 400 African youth delegates. © UNFPA Cote d'Ivoire

When countries invest in their youth and create opportunities for them, they pave the way to sustainable development.We have a global resource that until now has been largely overlooked, and it has nothing to do with science or technology. It is the world’s young people.

UN Under Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

WHAT: 10th Anniversary of the Adoption of the African Youth Charter (Banjul +10)

Under the guidance of the African Union Commission and with the support of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and other partners, the National Youth Council is coordinating this high-level forum and commemoration under the theme ‘10 Years Implementation of the African Youth Charter: Accelerating Youth Development in Africa

Africa is a youthful continent with about 65 per cent of the population below age 35 years, and over 35 per cent between the ages of 15 and 35 years. By 2020, it is projected that 3 out of 4 people will be 20 years old. About 10 million young African youth enter the job market yearly. Capitalising on this youth bulge will help in harnessing the Demographic Dividend.

In line with the human development aspirations contained in the Plan of Action of the Decade of Youth 2009 – 2018, ICPD Beyond 2014, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and African Union’s Agenda 2063, Banjul +10 is an opportunity for Africa’s young people to reflect on progress made and challenges faced during the decade of existence of the Charter and chart out strategies to attain the Africa we want. A peaceful and prosperous continent in which harmful practices are abandoned and the potential of all young people realized. More significantly Banjul +10 will seek:                                                                                                                 

  •   To provide a high-level political forum for intergenerational discourse and advocacy, stakeholders’ interaction, agenda setting and celebration of African youth Initiatives.
  •   To showcase the progress Africa youth are making across all fields of human endeavor surviving against all odds, leading young, innovation, creativity and public service.
  •   To ensure and facilitate broad based and inclusive consultations that will set the baseline for assessing progress in the youth development targets of Africa’s growth and development paradigm beyond 2015.
  •   To provide an avenue for discussion on the proposed Africa’s demographic framework that will guide the application of a youth lens at all levels and in the rollout of the AU 2063 Agenda.
  •   Discuss the mechanisms for establishment of an African Union Chairperson's Youth Envoy's Office and creation of an YouthCAN Africa Development Fund (YADEF)

Banjul +10 is open to all young people in Africa, AU Ministers of youth, sports and culture and other activists working on youth related issues. About 400 participants from across Africa and around the world are projected to attend the Event including high profile officials from various governments, the United Nations and the media.

Whilst in The Gambia, the UNFPA Executive Director is expected to meet young people, the Gambian Leadership, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corp and key Development Partners as well as local and international media.

Included in the UNFPA Executive Director’s delegation are Mr. Mabingue Ngom, Regional Director, UNFPA West and Central Africa, Mr. Constant-Serge Bounda Chief - UNFPA Liaison Office to the AUC and UNECA and other high ranking UNFPA officials.

WHY: The youth Development Policy at the continental level has rapidly evolved since the adoption of the African Youth Charter, which to date remains the premier continental youth policy document. In actualizing the Charter, other policy frameworks have been adopted including the Youth Decade Plan of Action, Malabo decision on Youth Empowerment, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Continental Policy Framework, AU gender policies and Agenda 2063.

There is an important link therefore between the discussions around reinforcing implementation of the policy frameworks in Africa and their pivotal role in harnessing the youth potentials to attain the Demographic Dividend and Africa’s inclusive growth and sustainable development.

WHO/Invited Speakers:

  •  President of The Gambia
  •  Vice President of The Gambia
  •  African Union Commissioners Amb. Ikounga and Dr. Kaloko
  •  UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
  •  UNESCO Director General, Ms. Irina Bukova
  •  Ministers of Youth from Burundi, Congo, The Gambia, Liberia
  • Other dignatories

WHEN: 21-25 May 2016

WHERE: Pencha Mi Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi, The Gambia

About UNFPA

UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA supports African governments and collaborates with the African Union to protect and empower the young people of the continent.

For more information contact:

Kunle Adeniyi: UNFPA The Gambia, United Nations Population Fund |+220 3360197 | adeniyi@unfpa.org

Nelson Muffuh: UNFPA West and Central Africa Region, United Nations Population Fund |+ 221786370395 | muffuh@unfpa.org