Saturday, October 1 2022

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa will organize a virtual event on the theme “African Youth in the Decade of Action: Actors or Spectators” on 20 December 2021 at 12:00-13:30 UTC / 15:00-16:30 EAT.

Young people are most affected by the SDGs: they have the most to gain from quality education, decent work, gender equality and a healthy planet – or lose the most if the world is not achieving these goals. Their energy, ideals and initiatives are crucial to achieving the Goals.

You are invited to this event to hear first hand about the successes, challenges and perspectives of young Africans as we continue to strive to achieve the SDGs.

Welcome Address: Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

Keynote Address: Ms. Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, Climate and Environment Activist

· Panel discussion: Hon. Emma Theofelus, Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Technology of the Republic of Namibia; Teacher. Adji Bousso Dieng, Founder, The Africa I Know and Assistant Professor, Princeton; Mr. Thobo Khathola, Managing Director, Lion Tutoring and Mr. Achalake Christian Leke, Executive Director, LOYOC Cameroon

· Closing speech: Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

The event:

1. Serve as a platform for young people to engage with their leaders to renew their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and advocate for urgency, ambition and action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals;

2. Provide African youth with a virtual hub to mobilize, reflect on their needs and aspirations, and build coalitions for positive change through the achievement of the Goals;

3. Bring together young African leaders to share best practices, experiences and challenges in their work towards the goals so far, and provide a platform for peer-to-peer learning, connection and collaboration for their work to come during the Decade of Action;

4. Brainstorm ideas and concrete actions that young women and men can take in their respective communities, countries and regions to ensure that Africa achieves the goals by 2030.

Fund

Africa’s population is the youngest in the world, with a median age of just 19.7 years. Its young people will steer the continent’s trajectory into the 21st century – their success or failure will also be that of the continent as a whole.

On September 25, 2015, the world came together at a historic moment to commit to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In its resolution adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, the General Assembly declared that “ the future of humanity and our planet is in our hands. It is also in the hands of the young generation of today who will pass the torch to future generations”.

He also acknowledged that “children and young women and men are essential agents of change and will find in the new Goals a platform to channel their endless capacities for activism in creating a better world”.

Almost six years later, where is Africa on its journey towards achieving the goals?

At the end of 2019, according to five dimensions of sustainable development (people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnership), Africa was far behind. Then COVID-19 hit, threatening to erase much of the continent’s progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Simply put, Africa’s achievement of the Goals is in serious jeopardy.

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