The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with the Horn of Africa Youth Network (HoAYN) and Save the Children, is set to host a Ministerial Meeting on September 27th this year at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi.
The ministerial meeting, whose aim is to adopt the IGAD Youth Policy, will be preceded by a two-day technical experts meeting on September 25th and 26th at the same venue, where experts will have presentations, working groups, and clinics to solicit feedback on regional engagement frameworks.
A press statement sent to newsrooms stated that both the ministerial and expert meetings will commence at 9:00 a.m.
According to the statement, key participants in the ministerial meeting will include Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda; technical youth experts responsible for youth affairs from IGAD Member States; National Youth Councils and youth-led civil society organisations from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda; and development partners.
The IGAD Youth Policy, a pivotal framework for promoting youth rights in the IGAD Region, has been developed through extensive consultations with Technical Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from member states, National Youth Councils, Youth-Led organisations, and the IGAD Secretariat.
Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD Executive Secretary, said the young generation plays a significant role in propelling nations towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and serves as a dynamic catalyst for societal transformation.
‘It is incumbent upon us, as a region, to empower them, cultivating their capacities and fostering an environment that enables them to fully realise their potential,’ he said.
Dr. Gebeyehu added that by harnessing the young people’s energy, innovation, and visions for a more equitable future, the region can collectively advance towards a world that leaves no one behind.
IGAD says the event is designed to guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.
The Executive Secretary said the main objectives of the meeting are guided by the fact that the IGAD region is experiencing one of the highest growths in its youth populations globally, a need that requires the region to address the unique challenges faced by young people.
The meeting’s primary objectives are the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy by the Council of Ministers responsible for Youth Affairs in the region, the development of a comprehensive roadmap and action plan for implementing the IGAD Youth Policy, and seeking the engagement of stakeholders and the support of likeminded agencies to foster a collaborative approach to youth empowerment in the region.
In his remarks, David Momanyi, the Horn of Africa Youth Network Executive Director, said there is a need to review and harmonise the existing policy documents that address a wide range of youth concerns.
‘We can use them to develop a comprehensive youth policy that provides policy and strategic direction for addressing youth concerns in a holistic manner within the Horn of Africa region,’ said Momanyi.
The Regional Youth Advisor for Save the Children’s East and Southern Africa Region, Agnes Airo, said statistics have shown that the youth are the present and future leaders, not only in Africa but globally, a need that requires collective effort by different actors and stakeholders.
Airo stated, ‘Commitment by governments to revise and implement national policies will reduce these vulnerabilities for better development and stability.’
Both the ministerial and the experts’ meetings will be held in-person in Nairobi and streamed live on the social media platforms of the IGAD Secretariat, the Horn of Africa Youth Network, and Save the Children- Kenya.
During the meeting, ministers will read country-level declarations before the issuance of a communiqué.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional organisation dedicated to promoting economic cooperation, integration, and social development in the Horn of Africa region, and its Youth Policy is a critical framework for addressing youth issues in the region and fostering their meaningful participation in societal development.
The Horn of Africa Youth Network is a leading advocate for youth empowerment in the Horn of Africa region and plays a pivotal role in shaping regional youth policies and initiatives.
While Save the Children is a global organisation dedicated to improving the lives of children worldwide, its involvement in the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy underscores its commitment to advancing youth rights and well-being in the region.
Source: Kenya News Agency