Sikhulekelani Moyo / Angela Sibanda, chroniclers
A WOMAN from Bulawayo has been appointed African Youth Envoy after defeating hundreds of candidates from African Union (AU) members.
Ms Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, a Girls College alumnus who is interested in issues affecting young people, hoisted the country’s flag high upon obtaining the post, succeeding Ms Aya Chebbi of Tunisia.
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said Ms. Mpemba will guide the AU’s political strategy for the next two years to mark African Youth Day.
African Youth Day is commemorated annually on November 1 in recognition of the role of young people in the socio-economic growth and sustainable development of Africa.
“As part of my renewed commitment to amplify the voice of young people and broaden their participation in the development of the continent, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, from Zimbabwe, as my next Envoy for the youth, ”Mr. Mahamat said.
“Ms. Chido Mpemba was selected following a rigorous recruitment process of hundreds of candidates. I am confident that with her in-depth knowledge of issues affecting young people and working closely with relevant departments of the Commission, she will contribute to the effective implementation of African Union youth policies and programs.
He praised the role played by young people in advancing the continental agenda.
Mr. Mahamat said the theme for this year’s African Youth Day ‘Defining the future today: Youth-led solutions to build the Africa we want’ resonates with the aspirations of the continent, by building on the resilience of young people.
He said Africa’s future should be defined by youth innovation.
“There is no doubt that the past year has posed enormous challenges, more than ever before. Covid-19 has brought many painful lessons and as the world goes through a global pandemic, young people are taking strikes to contribute to our collective effort to build the Africa we want, ”he said.
“Innovations have come to the fore and youth-led, engagement-oriented initiatives have become dominant. I hope the same resilience prevails as Africa continues to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and shape a brighter future of development and prosperity for all. “
Mahamat said young people should be accountable and responsible if the continent is to find lasting solutions to some of its challenges.
He said the continental body has embarked on a restructuring exercise that puts women and young people at the heart of the action.