Mainstreaming Youth into AU’s Peace and Security Agenda
The African Union, keen to mainstream the continent’s youth into the peace and security arena, inaugurated its Youth for Peace Africa Program in September 2018. This policy brief interrogates some of the consequent developments in Africa’s youth, peace and security agenda. It calls on all stakeholders to recognise their individual and collective roles both to enable and to promote active contributions by youth to peace and security – two prerequisites for Africa’s development. This policy brief, the first in a series to be published on the YPS agenda in Africa, examines two related issues. The first is the recent transformation of principles to concrete actions within the AU. The second is the amplified responsibility of the RECs/ RMs, member states and youth that are integral to achieving that transformation. This policy brief calls on RECs/RMs, member states and youth networks to seize the continental momentum – in collaboration with other actors such as development partners, civil society organisations (CSOs), and research institutions/academia – to promote and achieve their active participation in peace and security. This may not be easy taking into consideration the number and variety of multilateral and state institutions required to fully implement the vision, as well as the divergence of regional circumstances and peculiarities. But all hands must be on deck to move beyond the current tokenistic gestures of ticking boxes for ‘youth involvement’.