African Union’s Securitization of Youth: A Milestone for Regional Coordination of Youth Programmes in Peace and Security

African youth make up a third of the continent‟s population, however, they are vulnerable to human security issues that range from ethno-religious crises, political violence, piracy and maritime insecurity to an upsurge of religious fundamentalism, violent extremism and terrorism. Despite the pervasive state of anomie that African youth are constantly drawn into, they are also actively involved in transforming conflict and building peace as noted in the 2017 Inter peace annual report on “Youth at the Center of Peace building”. In relation to Africa, the report noted, for example, how youth are becoming central actors in the pursuit of sustainable and lasting peace through providing spaces for inclusive dialogue in Burundi, Rwanda and DRC. In realization of the roles youth play and their contributions to peace and security on the continent, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 807th meeting on 8 November 2018 to the first ever Open Session on the theme: “Youth, Peace and Security,” in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day. The Open Session was the culmination in a series of youth-related activities in peace and security initiated by the Youth for Peace programme (Y4P) that was launched in September 2018. The PSC noted the grave importance of the theme and its session therefore releasing a communique that emphasized the prioritization of African youth as custodians of peace and security on the continent.