By Spy Uganda
The President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Museveni has committed to reaching over 1 million young people in Uganda annually with opportunities to accelerate the African Union Commission’s vision of reaching 300 million young people by 2030 under the 1 Million Next Level initiative. This pledge has set a great pace and tone for many Heads of State to join this commitment.
“Youth development is at the heart of the Government of Uganda. I would like to state that, we will work with all the relevant sectors to upscale youth development and empower 1 million young people annually as a step and our commitment towards the AUC’s 1 Million Next Level initiative”. The President said in his statement at the high-level opening ceremony during the 3rd African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Youth Consultation Symposium which took place in Kampala, Uganda from 5th to 9th July 2022.
The symposium convened over 800 young people from across the continent to discuss the role of youth in the implementation of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, and related national aspirations, while enhancing the implementation of the objectives of the South-South triangular cooperation.
The 1 Million Next Level initiative is a continental programme and a successor of the 1 Million by 2021. It falls within the African Union Youth Charter article 11 which called for equal participation of young people in all spheres and a contributor to the achievement of the Agenda 2063 especially Aspiration 6: “An Africa Whose Development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by African People, especially its Women and Youth, and caring for Children”.
The goal of the 1million Next Level is to reach over 300 million African youth with opportunities along the 5 priority areas of impact, namely; Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Engagement and Health and Wellbeing (4Es and H) as targeted efforts to unleash the potential of youth across the continent.
According to the Acting Director of the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate at the AUC, Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, the President’s pledge is an unprecedented one and a good step towards positively impacting the lives of Africa’s youth.
“The African Union will continue to work with the Government of Uganda in ensuring that young people are empowered and ignited for change. Young people are brilliant, creative and innovative, and these are the catalytic skills the continent requires to fully unleash the potential of Africa’s youth,” She said in her remarks during the 3rd African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Youth Consultation Symposium
The APRM prioritized youth mainstreaming as a critical element for building prosperous, secure, and self-sustaining African economies. The 3rd APRM Youth Symposium was therefore a successful platform for youth-tailored conversations on governance, developing Africa.
On the sideline of the symposium, the AU, through the Women and Youth Directorate hosted several sessions to empower and engage the youth in governance and development processes. These were themed across the 4Es and H of the 1 Million Next Level initiative and included;
- an intergenerational dialogue titled “Leveraging the 1 Million Next Level Initiative to unleash the potential of Youth”,
- A youth consultation on transforming education in Africa,
- A youth engagement session on amplifying the Bingwa Initiative,
- An Egumeni Session addressing violence against women and girls which was titled; “You Are Not Alone: Flattening the Curve of the Shadow Pandemic”,
- A youth validation session on the AU Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion (WYFEI) 2030 Strategy,
- A session unpacking volunteerism as a pathway to employability.