Archive for April, 2011

Home page: http://lespanafricanistes.org/pan-african-youth-summit/

The third annual Pan-African Youth Summit will be held from June 11-12 at the University Cheikh Anta Diop campus, in Dakar, Senegal.

Our task is to bring together a coalition of left organizations that can coordinate together a new wave of mass popular struggles in West Africa. This new wave must be anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist while allowing a variety of perspectives and tendencies to be represented.

Encouraged by the revolutionary tide in Latin America under the Bolivarian Movement and this year in the Maghreb and Middle East, we know that a mass social and political movement in Africa will strike terror in the hearts of imperialists and inspire generations of young Africans who dream of a radical alternative to liberal democracy.

The summit will include, among other things: open forums to discuss the major issues and challenges facing the youth in West Africa, intervention and imperialism on the continent by Western forces, strengthening international solidarity, and workshops for radical organizers.

If you are part of an organization which would like to send an international delegation to the summit and need help planning your trip as well as making arrangements for local accomodations, please provide us with your name, your organizations’ name, and the specifics of your interest in the summit and your plans for coming, kindly fellow our link http://lespanafricanistes.org/pan-african-youth-summit/. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Thanks for the time and taking advantage of this youth opportunity. I hope you find the information useful as I look forward giving you the best assistance as we all champion the development of Africa!!

Joseph M D Johnsom

AU Youth Volunteer C – LIBRIA

+233 244 284281

johnsonjmd_01@yahoo.com

The 1st African Youth Summit on Climate Change is organized by African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) to serve as an appropriate avenue where African youth can come together and discuss issues relating to various topics on climate change including the role of youth in adaptation and mitigation projects, public awareness and participation, biodiversity and active participation in UNFCCC negotiations. The Summit is open to young people from all over Africa interested and involved in initiatives aimed to tackle climate change and ensure sustainability. It will consist of informative sessions and skills-building workshops on climate change issues ranging from scientific knowledge to effective political advocacy.

This is the online link to apply or use the application form in word.doc format:
http://www.climatechange.ayicc.net/?p=20

Le 1er Sommet de la Jeunesse Africaine sur les Changements Climatiques est organisé par l’Initiative de la Jeunesse Africaine sur les Changements Climatiques (AYICC) afin de servir de rencontre appropriée au cours de laquelle la jeunesse africaine se réunira et discutera des questions et des sujets liés aux changements climatiques, y compris du rôle des jeunes dans les projets d’adaptation et d’atténuation, la prise de conscience publique, la biodiversité et la participation active des jeunes dans les négociations de la Convention-cadres des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques. Le Sommet est ouvert aux jeunes gens originaires d’Afrique intéressés et impliqués dans les initiatives visant à combattre le réchauffement de la Terre et à assurer le développement durable. Il comportera des sessions instructives et des ateliers de renforcement des compétences sur les défis des changements climatiques, avec un accent mis sur l’amélioration des connaissances scientifiques pour un plaidoyer politique plus efficace.

Voici le lien pour postuler ou alors remplissez le formulaire word:
http://www.climatechange.ayicc.net/?p=20

The Organizing Team :  http://www.climatechange.ayicc.net/

AYICC Africa (www.ayicc.net)

Thanks for the time and taking advantage of this youth opportunity. I hope you find the information useful as I look forward giving you the best assistance as we all champion the development of Africa!!

Joseph M D Johnsom

AU Youth Volunteer C – LIBRIA

+233 244 284281

johnsonjmd_01@yahoo.com

Joseph M D Johnson, on behalf of the Republic of Liberia sign and make commitment to  achieving the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the 2nd African Youth and Governance Conference in Accra – Ghana. Sign the petition here

We the concerned citizen s of Africa reiterate that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s shared development agenda to reduce major aspects of human poverty.

To achieve the MDGs, we call on African Governments to:

  • Re-affirm their commitment to the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.
  • Work with their citizens, parliaments and local governments to develop and implement break-through action plans.
  •  Address inequality, discrimination and marginalization of specific social group with disabilities, women, youth as integral part of the breakthrough plans.
  • Address resource leakages and corruption with urgency.
  • Act urgently to implement the African Protocol on women’s right and similar undertaking in relation to youth, children and people living with disabilities.
  • Put employment and decent work for women and young people at the center of economic policies.
  • Uphold all continental agreements and protocols to budget adequately for the achievement of the MDGs including such targets as 15% to health, 10% to Agriculture, 10% to education.
  • Put more efforts into mobilizing and retaining domestic resources through fair and efficient taxation, fair sharing of natural resource rents and the prevention of illicit capital flight.

ENSURE THAT NO WOMEA SHOULD DIE GIVING LIFE.

We commit as citizen groups to engage our governments at various level in order to hold them to account for these commitments.

Don’t Miss AYGC 2011: Sign UP @ http://www.aygconference.org/ayg/index.php?option=com_jforms&view=form&id=3&Itemid=80

Joseph is a youth advocate presently studying at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration – GIMPA and a certified African Union Youth Volunteer; highly involve in youth empowerment activities. “I participate actively in development processes at continental, regional and national levels and help engage leaders at these levels to prioritize youth development issues, youth participation & governance by advocating for the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the African Youth Charter.”


AFRICAN YOUTH FORUM

4 – 6 April 2011

Addis Ababa – ETHIOPIA

AFRICAN UNION UNION AFRICAINE

PRE-SUMMIT AFRICAN YOUTH FORUM

RECOMMENDATIONS


We the youth from the African continent and the Diaspora at the Pre-Summit, African Youth Forum on “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”, 04 to 06 April 2011 at the Headquarters of the African Union (AU):

Agree on the urgency of the following:

Prioritize the eradication of youth poverty, youth extreme poverty, hunger, gender inequality and discrimination by prioritizing education and decent employment for youth

Pay particular attention to marginalized adolescents, youth, including unskilled, out of school, unemployed youth, youth living in rural areas, youth living with HIV, youth with disabilities, youth in conflict situations and young women.

Recognize and provide for the special needs of adolescents in devising youth programmes.

Fight against human trafficking, exploitation of refugees, internally displaced young people (IDPs), substance abuse, social exclusion, early and forced marriages, unwanted pregnancies, malaria, gender inequality, maternal mortality, new HIV infections, STIs, TB, discrimination of marginalized groups and xenophobia.

Prevent the involvement of youth in conflict, use of child soldier, and adopt pragmatic and complimentary engagement of youth in conflict prevention, resolution and reconciliation

Take Advantage of the benefits of globalization as well as information and communication technologies to achieve the African Youth Charter (AYC), African Youth Decade Plan of Action and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Promote, respect and defend all human rights instruments and conventions.

Reaffirm the importance of our natural resource-base and collectively undertake actions to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.

We commit ourselves to:

1.    Promote youth development and empowerment and contribute to the achievement of the MDGs, NEPAD and the Plan of Action for the African Youth Decade.

2.    Participate actively in development processes at continental, regional and national levels.

3.    Combat among youth gender inequalities, sexual and gender based abuses and violence, human trafficking, Malaria, new HIV infections, STIs, TB, maternal mortality and discrimination of marginalized group.

4.    Live and promote accountable, responsible and healthy life styles.

5.    Protect our natural resource-base and collectively undertake actions to protect the environment mitigate and adapt to the effect of the climate change.

We call upon the AU Heads of States and Governments to:

1.    Sign, ratify, domesticate and implement the African Youth Charter.

2.    Ensure harmonization between the African Youth Charter, National Youth Policies and national development plans and budgets.

3.    Monitor the implementation of the African Youth Charter and the Plan of Action for the decade through standardized tools, indicators and mechanisms for mainstreaming youth issues and monitoring progress towards development targets (ensure availability of youth comparative data for advocacy and programming.)

4.    Utilize the African Peer Review Mechanism(APRM) and NEPAD to monitor and report on the implementation of the African Youth Charter

5.    Establish or reinforce mechanisms that would facilitate and popularize active and meaningful youth participation in the development and implementation of global and national plans such as the MDGs and Poverty Reduction Strategy Programs (PRSPs)

6.    Establish a “Youth Fund” for the implementation of the PoA, for the African Youth Decade and the African Union Youth Volunteer Corp (AU-YVC), youth entrepreneurship and innovation.

7.    Endorse, mobilize and allocate resources for the acceleration of the Medium Term Priorities for the Plan of Action for the African Youth Decade

8.    Urge for the establishment of a Directorate for youth development affairs in the AUC

9.    Reaffirm that Pan-African Union (PYU) and its regional structures are accorded the status of AU special agencies at continental, regional and national levels as well as in the Diaspora.

10. Create Mechanisms that will enable African youth in the Diaspora to effectively contribute to sustainable development in Africa and facilitate and co-ordinate establishment of the PYU, NYCs and Diaspora youth institutions.

11. Establish a Ministry exclusive for youth development in all member states and strengthen the technical capacity of Youth Ministries through recruitment and employment of professional youth workers and volunteers.

12. Review or/and develop institutional frameworks for National Youth Councils

13. Strengthen the technical capacity of Youth Ministries through recruitment and employment of professional youth workers and volunteers.

14. Prioritize quality and innovative education (formal and non-formal) such as internships, volunteering and e-learning programs for the acquisition of knowledge, life-skills, livelihood skills, entrepreneurship and facilitate the involvement of Diaspora youth.

15. Prioritize and strengthen health systems to improve access to age and gender appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and care services including STIs, HIV and AIDS

16. Prioritize the prevention of new infections among adolescent youth.

17. Adopt economic and business policies to create and ensure an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in youth development

18. Advocate for the establishment of a UN (United Nations) Youth Agency

19. Implement the resolution calling on Member States to include youth as part of official delegations to relevant UN and AU General Assembly meetings and related activities

20. Develop strategies for strengthening Public Private Partnership (PPP) in stimulating domestic resources for implementing Youth Development Programs

21. Support youth with micro-finance and entrepreneurial skills development initiatives

22. Facilitate the involvement of Diaspora youth and repatriates with specific skills and experience in the educational process.

23. Fulfill the commitment to the Abuja +15 declaration to spend at least 15% of the national budget on health.

24. Develop programs that address discrimination, marginalization, human trafficking, exploitation of refugees, internally displaced young people (IDPs) and other most at risk youth.

25. Sign, ratify, domesticate and implement all treaties and conventions regarding climate change and sustainable environment.

26. Transit from brown economy to green economy based on green jobs and renewable energy (COP+17 and Rio+20).

27. Institutionalize Annual State of Youth of the Youth Report at the national and regional level.

We call upon the AUC to:

1.    Collaborate with governments, non-governmental institutions and development partners for the effective implementation of the African Youth Charter (AYC).

2.    Coordinate the efforts of all African governments in the implementation of the AYC through standardized tools, indicators and mechanisms for mainstreaming youth issues and monitoring progress towards development targets

3.    Publish a progress report on the status of implementation at every Heads of States and Governments Summit.

We call upon the PYU to:

1.    Popularize the African Youth Chater.

2.    Advocate for the establishment and strengthen the coordination roles of National Youth Councils

3.    Advocate for mainstreaming of youth development and empowerment in all initiatives

We call upon the National Youth Councils to:

1.    Serve as umbrella national body for youth led organizations.

2.    Mobilize youth to participate in national decision making processes.

3. Initiate and formalize relations with regional Diaspora youth institutions.

4. Popularize, advocate, and support the implementation of the AYC.

We call upon the Private sector to:

1.    Partner with Governments in supporting youth development interventions.

2.    Prioritize youth development issues as part of private sector’s corporate social responsibility including reducing carbon foot print

3.    Support youth micro-finance and entrepreneurial skills development initiatives.

We call upon the Civil Society to:

1.    Partner with AUC, Governments, PYU and NYCs in rendering services to the youth.

2.    Harmonize and complement programs of the Pan African Youth Union, National Youth Councils and Youth led organizations in their activities both at continental, regional and national level

3.    Advocate for the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the African Youth Charter.

4.    Strengthen Youth led organizations to monitor the implementation of the African Youth Charter.

5. Popularize the AYC and produce shadow report on the implementation of the AYC.

6. Strengthen social accountability through a standard code of conduct.

We call upon the Youth-led organizations and networks to:

1.    Lead in-country advocacy for the ratification and the implementation of AYC.

2.    Increase awareness and understanding of in-country Youth on the AYC.

3.    Mobilize and support in-country youth led organizations to participate in the operations of their National Youth Councils.

We call upon the development partners to:

1.    Support African Union Commission, Governments, Pan African Youth Union, National Youth Councils and Non Governmental Organizations in implementing youth development and empowerment programmes and allocate specific issues at country level.

2.    Support the AUC, PYU, governments, NYC, NGO’s, Diaspora youth institutions in the implementation of the AYC.

3.    Align their development programmes with the targets of the Youth Decade PoA

“Prepare the Youth. Prepare Africa’s future.”

Joseph M D Johnson

AU YVC – LIBERIA

CONTACT

AFRICAN UNION
Department of Human Resources & Technology
Division for Human Resources and Youth
P.O. Box 3243, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: +251 11 371 77 80
Fax.: +251 11 550 59 28
E-mail: youth@africa-union.org
Web: http://www.africa-youth.org

http://www.au.int/youth

Facebook Source: http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/african-youth-forum-2011/outcome-document-on-this-we-commit-and-agree/207721932591067

Event Website: http://www.ru.ac.za/youthdevelopment/panafricanyouthsummit2011

4-10 September 2011, eRhini/Grahamstown, South Africa

The Pan-African Youth Summit will be a weeklong forum on the African Renaissance with particular attention to critical issues affecting the continent, integration of the African Diaspora, world politics, international relations, law, media, business, education, global economy and human development.

The objective of the conference will be to facilitate an exchange of ideas across an ethnically diverse and socially responsible group of young African leaders. The conference blends social interaction with cultural and educational components into one cohesive experience. We believe in the learning method of direct, hands-on experience or engaging first hand with those who have had the hands-on experience.

The Inaugural PAYD Summit will practice the young people’s leadership skills and introduce them to international organizations that promote human advancement using the following interrelated events:

1. A United Nations Security Council emergency meeting simulation

2. A mock African Court for Human and People’s Rights pre-trial
3. A model Pan-African Parliament proceeding
4. Visits to Parliament of the Republic of South Africa or a Provincial Legislature
5. Group Debates and Panel Discussion on African security, environmental sustainability, rule of law, responsible leadership, human development, education, economy, civil society and governance and mass media.
6. Meetings and Banquet Dinners with leading experts, diplomats, politicians, traditional leaders, elders, eminent persons and businesspersons.

The PAYD Summit will invite young people (from Honours level or final year LLB) to submit papers on any of the thematic areas. These papers will be assessed by volunteer academics or people from industry in both content and style. These papers are not conference discussion documents but rather are think-pieces for conference delegates.

Please note that the Summit Application can now be found here!

https://www.ru.ac.za/documents/Youth%20Development/Summit%20Application%20Form.pdf

Application forms must be e-mailed to: conference.payd@gmail.com

For any enquiries, please contact Ms Pumeza Mdangayi on info.payd@gmail.com or conference.payd@gmail.com

Thanks for the time and taking advantage of this youth opportunity. I hope you find the information useful as I look forward giving you the best assistance as we all champion the development of Africa!!

Joseph M D Johnsom

AU Youth Volunteer C – LIBRIA

+233 244 284281

Also available in [PDF] format.

In sub-Saharan Africa, young people ages 10-24 make up a third of the population, and in some countries within the region, the proportion of young people is more than half of the total population.[1] These youth play a pivotal role in supporting the growth and development of the continent. Yet a lack of access to reproductive and sexual health information, services, and supplies puts the health and lives of many young people at serious risk. Around the world, forty percent of new HIV infections are among young people, and sixteen million adolescents give birth each year – with the vast majority (more than 90 percent) of the world’s HIV infections and adolescent births occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.[1,2] The African Union recognizes the critical importance of helping young people protect their sexual and reproductive health and giving young people a voice in decisions that affect their future.

Established in 2002, the African Union consists of 53 African countries working to promote the growth, peace and security of Africa. The government and members of the African Union have joined together to implement programs and policies that encourage youth to take action and responsibility in ensuring the development of the continent as well as their wellbeing. The Union recognizes that young people make up the fastest growing population in Africa and that youth are essential assets to the progression and positive future development of Africa.

The African Union has played a crucial role in the development of regional agreements aimed at providing young people with the resources and health services they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and in the long run assist in the advancement of Africa. This document provides an overview of five such agreements that address the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people: the African Youth Charter, the Maputo Plan of Action, the Fifth African Development Forum, the Abuja Call for Accelerated Action, and the Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases. Youth advocates and adult allies working to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in Africa should become familiar with these agreements, so that they may hold leaders accountable to these commitments.

THE AFRICAN YOUTH CHARTER (AYC), JULY 2006, THE GAMBIA

The African Youth Charter is guided by the vision of the African Union to promote and emphasize the importance of the youth ages 15 to 35 to the development of Africa.[3]

The ultimate goal of the African Youth Charter (AYC) is to address the principal issues facing African Youth. As identified by the UNFPA, there are four major issues that are affecting African youth. They are as follows:

  • Education, employment and youth development;
  • Women and girl rights;
  • Quality sexual reproductive health services; and
  • Youth participation involvement and empowerment.[4]

Within the AYC, there is specific language on youth, health, and women and girls. The articles that address these are as follows:

Article 16: Health

  • “Every young person shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health.”[4]
  • State Parties shall, “secure the full involvement of youth in identifying their reproductive and health needs and designing programs that respond to these needs with special attention to vulnerable and disadvantaged youth…”[4]
  • State Parties shall, “provide access to youth friendly reproductive health services including contraceptives, antenatal and post natal services.”[4]

Article 23: Girls and Young Women

State Parties shall, “take steps to provide equal access to health care services and nutrition for girls and young women”[4]

State Parties shall, “enact and enforce legisla- tion that protect girls and young women from all forms of violence, genital mutilation, incest, rape, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking, prostitution and pornography”[4]

State Parties shall, “secure the right for young women to maternity leave”[4]

The Charter pays close attention to, and understands that there is a greater concern of African Youth who are “… marginalized from mainstream society through inequalities in income, wealth and power, unemployment and underemployment, infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, living in situations of poverty and hunger, experiencing illiteracy and poor quality educational systems, restricted access to health services and to information, exposure to violence including gender and violence, engaging in armed conflicts and experiencing various forms of discrimination.”[4] Therefore, the AYC reaffirms the need to take proper steps and precautions to promote and protect the welfare of youth.

While the Charter does include language that is specific to youth and the health and women and girls, the document does not identify ways that young people can get involved or be included in their local communities to promote and ensure youth development.

MAPUTO PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS CONTINENTAL POLICY FRAMEWORK, SEPTEMBER 2006, MOZAMBIQUE

The Maputo Plan of Action was adopted during the Special Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health in September of 2006.5 The aim of this Special Session was to identify a plan of action for the initiation of the Continental Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy Framework, which would also link HIV/AIDS with reproductive health services.[6]

The Maputo Plan of Action, commonly referred to as the Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, seeks to improve the status of the continent by progressing towards worldwide access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in African by 2015. The Plan of Action realizes the urgent need to improve the health status of the African population in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals.[6]

In the Maputo Plan of Action, the African Union Ministers make specific reference to sexual and reproductive health; indicating that it should be among the highest six priorities of the health sector.[6]

Action Areas of the Maputo Plan of Action

In the Maputo Plan of Action, there are specific action areas that are prioritized to address some of the greatest concerns and threats to African countries. These areas include:

  • Integration of sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) into Primary Health Care (PHC);
  • Repositioning family planning;
  • Developing and promoting youth-friendly services;
  • Unsafe abortion;
  • Quality safe motherhood;
  • Resource mobilization;
  • Commodity security; and
  • Monitoring and evaluation.[6]

Addressing Young People

The Maputo Plan of Action includes language on young people specifically. The Plan of Action identifies “young people” as one of the prior- ity target groups among several other groups including men and women of reproductive age, and displaced persons among others.6 Most im- portantly, the strategic actions for implementing the Continental Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy Framework does an incredible job in noting the actions that need to be taken for young people. Such actions include:

• Provide sexuality education for young people in and out of school;

• Strengthen implementation and or advocacy for policies that support the provision of sexual reproductive health and rights services addressing the needs of young people; and

• Cerebrate a day for the sexual reproductive health and rights services for young people.[6]

Much of the declaration illustrates challenges facing low and middle income countries that need assistance in regards to pivotal areas such as HIV/AIDS, education and women. The Declaration is a step toward the realization of the goals these countries must achieve.

THE FIFTH AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FORUM, NOVEMBER 2006, ETHIOPIA

The Fifth African Development Forum, “Youth and Leadership in the 21st Century”, was the first to focus on young people.[7] The Forum was organized by the Economic Commission for Africa and partner, The African Union.

The Fifth African Development Forum (ADF-V) stresses that any policy implemented to promote progression of the continent must identify the importance and urgent need to address young people. The Forum provides an environment to discuss and implement approaches for the devel- opment of Africa.[8]

Definition of Youth

Organizations have found difficulties determining a proper definition for youth because their focus has previously been on younger children or adults. However, The Fifth African Development Forum adopted the definition used by The African Union in the African Youth Charter. Youth are therefore defined as those between the ages of 15 and 35 years.

African Development Forum Work Program

The Work Program of the ADF-V focuses on mak-ing youth essential in the progression and development of Africa. For that reason the work program has three key standpoints in order to reach this goal:

  • Youth as a base for economic development;
  • Youth as a dynamic force for social transformation and progress; and
  • Youth as a factor for change in governance and political development in Africa.[8]

Within these standpoints, there is specific language that addresses young people, health, girls and young women. They are as follows:

Youth and Economic Development:

Young People, Health and HIV/AIDS: With HIV/ AIDS proving to be the number one risk to young women in Africa, it has been noted that much needs to be done in order stop the pandemic. The ADF-V recognizes both direct and indirect ways address these issues. Direct tactics include comprehensive sexual education, life skills, access to condoms, etc. Indirect tactics include increasing young girl’s education opportunities so that they are more empowered and knowledgeable regarding engaging in sexual activities such as selling or trading sex.[8]

Youth and Social Development:

ADF-V recognizes that the culture of most African societies has subjected most young women and girls to household labor, therefore hindering their economic and social growth. Also recognizing that young women and girls are more likely to fall victim to serious health issues such as sexually transmitted infections and HIV, the ADF-V suggests the importance of educating young women and girls and also recognizes the positive outcome of implementing certain commitments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and others.[8]

The Fifth African Development Forum cites young people as an important factor in the development and progression of the African continent. The forum goes even further to illustrate the essential need for commitments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to be implemented to help support the objectives the forum has set in place. Most importantly the Forum notes the importance of essential tactics such as comprehensive sexual education and access to condoms to improve the rate at which young women fall victim to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

ABUJA CALL FOR ACCELERATED ACTION TOWARDS UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HI/AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA SERVICES IN AFRICA, MAY 2006, NIGERIA

In May 2006, members of the African Union met in Abuja, Nigeria to evaluate the Abuja Declaration and Plan of Action on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Infectious Diseases (ORID) of 2001.[9] The theme for this declaration is “Universal Access to HIV and AIDS; Tuberculosis and Malaria Services by a United Africa by 2010.” Of the twelve priorities for the Abuja Plan of Action on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases; Protection for Human Rights focuses particularly on women, youth and children.

Priorities for the Abuja call toward universal Access

The twelve priorities for the Abuja Call toward Universal Access include:

  • Leadership at National, Regional and Continental Levels to mobilize the society as a whole;
  • Resource Mobilization;
  • Protection for Human Rights, Poverty, Health and Development;
  • Strengthening Health Systems;
  • Prevention of Primary and Secondary Infections;
  • Improvement of Information, Education and Communication;
  • Access to Treatment, Care and Support;
  • Access to Affordable Drugs and Technologies;
  • Research and Development on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and ORID;
  • Partnership; and
  • Monitoring and Evaluation.[10]

The African Union has noted that as individuals move from country to country within the conti- nent, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis spread. As a result, they have realized the urgent need to take proper action to fight against the spread of these diseases. However, they face several challenges and obstacles in the process. A few of these challenges include:

  • Lack of adequate policies protecting the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis;
  • Failure to link the correlation between HIV and AIDS with sexual and reproductive health; and
  • Stigma and discrimination of people infected with HIV/AIDS.[10]

While reaffirming the commitments cited in the Millennium Development Goals and rededicating themselves to the protection of human rights, specific reference is made to young people, wom- en and health:

“To continue promoting an enabling pol- icy, legal and social environment that promotes human rights particularly for women, youth and children and ensure the protection of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, TV and Malaria and to reduce vulnerability and marginalization including conflict-affected and displaced persons, refugees and returnees.”[10]

Noting the difficulties and challenges Africa faces regarding HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, the agreement acknowledges the need to take prevention, treatment, care and support measures. Within these measures, they recognize the need to improve information, education and communication; investing in evidence-based prevention that focuses primarily on young people, women, girls and other groups; and to provide universal access to male and female condoms for all persons who are sexually active. Interestingly, the agreement makes reference to continuing the promotion of traditional values on abstinence, but also emphasizes the need to continue to increase condom use.[10]

With young people being an essential tool in the positive progression of Africa, it is imperative to have youth involved in their local communities to promote and ensure youth development. This particular agreement does make mention of that; stating that youth among other groups are needed:

  • For the fight against HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria;
  • To develop frameworks that will provide substantial results;
  • To support the mobilization for prevention, care and support and treatment based activities; and
  • To facilitate the operationalization of all commitments.[10]

THE ABUJA FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/ AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND OTHER RELATED INFECTIOUS DISEASES, APRIL 2001, NIGERIA

The African Union Heads of State and Government met in Abuja, Nigeria in April 2001 to hold a special summit focused on HIV/AIDS; Tuberculosis (TB); and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID).10 The results brought forth the commitment made by African States to make HIV/AIDS one of the major priorities of their national development program.[11]
Concerned about rapid spread of HIV infection, tuberculosis, and other related infectious diseas- es, the Heads of State met to review the situation and develop strategic plans and policies that could be implemented to alleviate and monitor the situation. In an attempt to do so, the Heads of State made specific reference to young people, prioritizing their needs in order to progress as a continent. They recognized the following:

  • Special efforts are required to ensure that Africa’s children are protected from these pandemics and their consequences and that the full and effective participation of young people in prevention and control programs is essential to their success;
  • Special needs and challenges of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for the young that make them vulnerable to infection and adverse impacts of the epidemic; and
  • Education will play a major role in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.[11]

Recognizing these issues, the Heads of State declared AIDS as a State of Emergency for the continent. As a result, they made the following commitments:

  • To place HIV/AIDS as the major priority issue regarding the national development plans;[12]
  • Ensure that the needs of susceptible groups are met. These groups include women, children, youth, workers and others;[11]
  • Improve quality of and access to education, information and youth programs regarding HIV/AIDS;[12]
  • Allocate at least 15% of the annual national budget to improve the health sector;[11] and
  • Formulate a continental wide policy with the assistance of the African Union Secretariat.[12]

The Abuja Framework identifies youth as a priority population and HIV/AIDS as a major priority issues for national development plans. It also highlights the need for improved quality of HIV/ AIDS education and programs for young people although components of effective programming, such as comprehensive sexuality education, are not specifically articulated.

CONCLUSION

The agreements described in this fact sheet are important tools for youth activists and adult allies working to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people within Africa. These agreements have shown that governments in Africa are increasingly recognizing the importance of prioritizing youth; however, much work needs to be done to hold leaders accountable to their commitments. Understanding the commitments that already exist is key to demanding that accountability and to identifying remaining policy gaps to advocate for in future negotiations.
Advocates for Youth © February 2011

Written by Olaide Aiyegbusi, International Division, with contributions from Elizabeth Orlan, Zemen Retta, and Maritza Pedlar

REFERENCES

1. UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2010. Accessed from http://www.unaids.org/globalreport/Global_report.htm on February 15, 2011.

2. World Health Organization. “Making Pregnancy Safer.” Accessed from http://www.who.int/making_pregnancy_ safer/topics/adolescent_pregnancy/en/index.html on February 15, 2011.

3. African Union. African Youth Charter. http://www.africa-union.org/root/ua/conferences/mai/hrst/charter%20 english.pdf. Accessed November 15, 2010.

4. Ashenafi, E., Imran, L. UNFPA. ICPD-MDGs-AYC-Working as One!-2009. Accessed from http://files.tiggroups. org/90021/get-web/ICPD_MDG_AYC_Youth_Position_ Oct09_NO_COVER.pdf on February 15, 2011.

5. The African Union Commission. Plan of Action on Sex- ual and Reproductive Health and Rights ( Maputo Plan of Action. http://www.unfpa.org/africa/newdocs/maputo_ eng.pdf. Accessed November 23, 2010.

6. Special Session of the Conference of African Union Min- isters of Health. http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/ Conferences/Past/2006/September/SA/Maputo/CAMH2.htm . Accessed November 29, 2010.

7. The Fifth African Development Forum (ADF-V). Youth and Leadership in the 21st Century. http://www.uneca. org/adfv/Concept_Paper.htm. Accessed November 18, 2010.

8. The Fifth African Development Forum. About ADF-V. http://www.uneca.org/adfv/about.htm. Accessed November 29, 2010.

9. The African Union. Abuja Call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services in Africa. Accessed on December 2, 2010.

10. The African Union. Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases. http://www.un.org/ga/aids/pdf/abuja_declaration.pdf. Accessed on December 8, 2010.

11. A Compendium of African Union and International Commitments on HIV and AIDS. The Abuja Framework for Action for the Fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other Related Infectious Diseases. 64.

Advocates for youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/

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Hope you enjoy reading and making use of the provided information. Feel free to leave your comments or contact me for further assistance.

Best regards,

Joseph M D Johnson

Youth Advocate & African Youth Volunteer – Liberia

e: johnsonjmd_02@hotmail.com

+233 244 184181