On Wednesday, H. E. Ms Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Youth, addressed the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission.
As part of her regional brief to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, chaired by H.E. Ivan Šimonović in New York, Mpemba vowed to continue with her listening tour around Africa while championing Agendas 2030, and 2063, respectively.
“In my bid to continue championing the youth agenda in Africa, last year I launched the Africa and Diaspora Youth Listening Tour as a tool for youth engagement and raising awareness on the current status of youth in Africa.
“This year, I continue with the listening tour, and soon I am getting ready to visit conflict zone countries, where I will interact with young people and continue to drive the agenda of Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), advocating for youth at the table,” she promised.
She highlighted the plight being faced by millions of Sudanese youth and women, and promised to continue supporting them in their darkest hours.
“We cannot forget our brothers and sisters affected by the conflict in Sudan, and we have to show our solidarity with the youth in Sudan. Last week, over 100 youth leaders, with national youth councils (NYCs) globally, joined in solidarity for a meeting that I held and co-chaired alongside the President of the Sudanese Youth Council,” she said.
To date, more than 10 regional youth organisations and NYCs have declared their support to Sudanese youth.
As part of her mandate, Mpemba also maximised the opportunity of the youth who she engaged in dialogue to contribute to the Security Sector National Strategy Plans at the Emerging Security Sector Leader’s Seminar. At the seminar, she managed to sensitise security sector leaders, including the military on YPS, the African Youth Charter, and the role of young people as peacebuilders.
She saluted the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria for adopting the National Action Plan (NAPS) on YPS and also applauded Zimbabwe, Tunisia, and Cameroon for officially developing them.
“Burundi, Kenya, Namibia, Gambia, and Uganda have expressed strong interest in doing the same.
“Following this experimental knowledge exchange, over forty representatives from the member states mentioned will form a community of practice to promote exchanges of resources and support each other and member states aiming to encourage interaction between YPS stakeholders,” explained Mpemba.
She strengthened the firmness of the African Union in wanting the inclusion of youth participation in mediation and conflict resolution, as this resulted in the formation of the Youth Wise Network, a subsidiary of the Panel of the Wise.
Mpemba, who hails from Zimbabwe, is the youngest diplomat at the African Union serving in the cabinet of the Chairperson and representing the 55 African countries on youth affairs..
In a legacy mile stone, a decision has been passed by the African Union for the institutionaliaation and permanency of the Office of the AU Youth Office.
The continent’s youth rain optimistic about Mpemba’s office, and the activities undertaken.