The formation of Organisation of African Youth, (hereinafter referred to as “OAYouth”) was an inevitable response to a need to instigate and consolidate youth participation in all institutions that deal with youth issues and influence policy pertaining to youth and development in Africa. “Popular participation in policymaking and decisions on resource allocation from the grass roots to the national level” as stated by Anyang’ Nyong’o in the African Youth Report (2009:79) is required to produce real poverty reduction in Africa and the youth are in a position to make a significant contribution in that regard.
Young people in Africa will inherit a continent ravaged by hunger, poverty, disease and war, where there are vast untapped resources and potential that has not been harnessed for the advancement of the continent. These tragedies are man-made resulting from environmental degradation perpetuated by gross incompetence and criminal negligence by those entrusted to lead. This has led to gross violation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people in Africa, particularly the young and vulnerable.
According to the African Youth Report (2009: 79) young people in Africa, owing to their large numbers, account for a large proportion of those living in poverty. However, they are often excluded from the political and policy making processes that could enable them to escape poverty. The same report states that millennium development goal (MDG) one which is “Develop a global partnership for development”, directly relates to youth in terms of developing and implementing strategies for decent and productive work for youth. It is in this light that the young people of Africa intend taking control of their future and participate in the policy making process. OAYouth believes that “for a state to be effective, citizens, particularly young people, need the opportunity and the capacity to participate in the governance process” (African Youth Report 2009: 79). OAYouth has therefore taken it apon itself to represent all youth in Africa in developmental issues and encourage a future leadership that is ethical, understands human rights, social justice, democracy and has compassion for the people.
OAYouth believes that the future leadership should be nurtured with the nourishing milk full of all the principles of democracy, economic development, political tolerance, social responsibility and justice. This will be achieved through an all inclusive forum that youth can use to chart this noble course, that affords them access to leadership training, interactive participation in innovation and entrepreneurship, volunteerism and the will to engage in peaceful conflict resolution. These concepts should be introduced to the youth and serve to build effective ethical leaders who have the welbeing of the continent at heart and move it from its current malaise.
A united Africa that is peaceful, bestowing a sense of security where democracy is practised and human rights are respected rendering multi-structural development leading to economic, political, social and cultural advancement.
“Bringing together youth who’ve a mind of their own.”
The Organisation of African Youth is primarily a platform for information exchange, a forum for debate on African issues and a network of future political, corporate, academic, literary, religious and traditional leaders in all African contexts. It seeks to exist as the umbrella organisation of all independent minded individual youth in Africa. OAYouth is the agent for youth to be advocates for democracy, peace and human rights. OAYouth will present to the youth, the importance of understanding the underlying reasons behind conflicts and offer workable conflict resolutions to build future peace on the continent.
We are inspired by the African Youth Charter to confront Africa’s challenges.
We shall confront all problems peacefully; keeping with Mahatma Ghandhi’s saying that: “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer with love”. (Latin: Vencere Caritate). And this is be our motto.