In collaboration with HOJA Youth Network, IPSS hosted a two-day Youth Consultation workshop from 24-25 October 2019 at the Pan Africa Christian University in Nairobi, Kenya under the theme “The Role of Youth in Peace and Conflict”. The workshop served as an opportunity for candid discussions relating to youth engagement in peace and conflict in Africa as well as a platform for experiential sharing of youth participation in social, economic and political processes in their communities.
The 8th Tana Forum was held on 4-5 May 2019 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia under the theme ‘Political Dynamics in the Horn of Africa: Nurturing the Emerging Peace Trends’. National and regional stability in the Horn of Africa is fundamental to serve the vital components of sustainable development objectives across the region. The Horn of Africa faces a multitude of challenges relating to weak governance, porous borders and slow economic growth, among others, which have become an obstacle to nation-building and a source of insecurity. These issues have also affected political trajectories in the region and reduced prospects for strong regional integration. It is against this background that the workshop was hosted as a post-activity along the margins of the Tana Forum targeting representatives of youth-led groups and individuals with experience on peace, security and governance matters in Africa.
The Post-Tana Forum youth consultation workshop explored the role of youth in peace and conflict and its implications for youth involvement on the continent. The main themes of the consultation included:
- Youths as agents of/for peace;
- The role of youth organizations ;
- The role of media (social and traditional)
Based on the outcomes of discussions, the participants provided the following recommendations:
- Request Tana Forum to provide information on the policy outcomes
- Lobby for the African Union to introduce youths from each member state in the office of the AU youth envoy to ensure issues pertaining to the youth are properly dealt with
- Advocate for the improvement, ratification and effective implementation of existing policies by AU member states;
- Encourage more youth organizations to engage in post conflict reconstruction and development process
- Community outreach programs should be undertaken in conflict-affected areas to provide an evaluation of those affected by the conflict
- Peace education should be provided to disseminate information on peace and provide an understanding of the different conflict perspectives.
In conclusion, the youth consultation workshop envisioned a continued IPSS partnership with improved communication in policy outcomes, coordination with the African Union and regional blocs, and increased youth engagement in political processes.