NAYD has become one of the strong voices of young people in Africa. The year 2011 has marked this. NAYD was involved in the African Youth Panel organized by the African Union Commission sometime in April to make preparation for the 17th ordinary session of the African Heads of State summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in July 2011 conferring on the theme “accelerating youth empowerment for sustainable development”. This was supported by our own independent online questionnaire for which we had 181 responses from 37 Afrian countries. These opinions will feed into the process to compile the voice of young people to be heard. The results can be seen here.
Important decision made during the meeting including approval of the Decade Plan of Action (DPOA) for young people (2009-2018) by the African Union. With this in mind major African youth networks including NAYD gathered in Johannesburg from November 7-8, 2011 to discuss a new initiative spearheaded by the African Monitor to map out strategies to ensure the implementation of the DPOA. It was agreed to form an alliance of youth networks in Africa with the main aim of coming up with strong advocacy strategies targeting the AU, regional economic communities and member states for the implementation of the DPOA.
A country coordinator from Somalia, Aweys Nur had a chance to get involved in the training organized by the African Union and Oxfam international on understanding the African Union, in Abuja, Nigeria. This will help in designing appropriate strategies for the planned advocacy initiative.
The other notable achievement of NAYD is taking a lead in organizing the youth related activities of the recently concluded 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa held from 4-8 December, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 250 young people gathered for a three day pre conference from all over Africa. I will send you the report once it is finalized. We are planning a follow up project on the declaration.
What’s on the plate for 2012?
NAYD will continue playing a key role in the initiative started by the African Monitor. There will be more meetings to craft the terms of reference to outline the working modalities and partnerships to carry out the project.
There is the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next year in June 2011 – how are we going to reflect the views of African Youth in the conference remains a question that we need to ask ourselves and hopefully come up with concrete action plans.
AIDS 2012 is to be held next year in July 2012 in the US, a major conference that will discuss global response to HIV/AIDS. We need to consider how we can meaningfully participate in the conference.
In 2012, we will be developing the strategic plan of NAYD for the coming five years that will be used as a road map for NAYD future activities and programs.
All our ambitions and aspirations will never become a reality if we couldn’t work in partnership and collaboration. For this I just want to highlight the following key points that will ensure better coordination and visibility;
1 Contribute to INSPIRE as it is widely distributed in Africa and internationally. It is a good opportunity to increase the visibility of organizations and its activities. All articles are also posted on our BLOG. Please also add your expertise to the Climate Change (http://climate.nayd.org/) and AIDS information pages (http://aids.nayd.org/).
2 I encourage you to promote NAYD amongst your peers in your country so that they will join NAYD using the members join page at http://www.nayd.org/new/member.php. We would like to have at least 5 new members per month from each country.
4 You can also mobilize local NGO’s to take up the offer of a NAYD webpage to help them publicise their activities – details at http://www.nayd.org/web_design.htm
5 We encourage you to post onto the Bulletin Board notices of events and grant opportunities – http://www.nayd.org/news.htm
I hope the year 2012 will be a fruitful one with all our efforts. Courage and determination!
Wishing you and your families a happy and prosperous new year!!!