The President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), H.E. Chief Fortune Z. Charumbira has encouraged the youth to be the driving force behind the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He called on young people to tap into opportunities offered by intra-African trade, and play a leading role in accelerating Africa’s industrialisation and economic transformation.
H.E. Chief Charumbira was addressing students gathered at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on the occasion of the 2023 African Union (AU) Model Summit under the theme of the Year for 2023, “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation.”
Convened by the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-SARO), the AU Model Summit is essentially a simulation exercise of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government Proceedings.
As a student-based activity, it involves students being assigned to the African Union Member States in groups of five representing different delegations of the 55 Member States.
The objective of the Model Summit is to sensitise the citizenry, especially African youth on the continental integration policies, programs, and what they mean to the ordinary citizenry.
The platform is further intended to familiarise participants on the operations and procedures of the AU policy organs and their decision-making processes.
H.E. Chief Charumbira said that young people must make their voice heard to ensure that the implementation process of the AfCFTA is responsive to their needs, as the future of the African continent.
The leader of Africa’s Parliament believes that harnessing the potential of the landmark continental agreement will help the youth overcome difficulties in accessing formal employment and decent jobs.
The President of the continental parliament further pledged the PAP’s commitment to ensuring that the youth fully play their role and reap the benefits of what he described as one of the most important African projects to date.
“I am pleased to say that the PAP can and should play an instrumental role in driving youth inclusion and participation in continental policies and programmes in general and in the implementation of the AfCFTA in particular. One of the primary objectives of the PAP as enunciated in Rule 4 of the PAP Rules of Procedure is to facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the African Union. The PAP is indeed intended as a platform for African citizens, especially the youth to make contributions to decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent,” said H.E. Chief Charumbira