Scouts Voice in the Africa-Europe Youth Summit Declaration
During the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit held between 9-11 October 2017 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, participants had the chance to share their own point of view, to speak up and let their voice be heard by Heads of States of the African Union and European Union. Among the 120 young people drawn from the two continents were two Scouts; Sonia Abbondio and Nandesh Patel - who represented the World Organization of the Scout Movement who actively contributed to not only the discussions but the final recommendations as well.
Below are some thoughts and experiences on their participation at the summit:
“Taking part to the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit in Abidjan has been a great experience of sharing Scouts point of view and best practices with other young people coming all over Africa and Europe,” Says Sonia.
Through thematic clusters workshops, each participant had the possibility to work closely on six main topics. “I was focused on the "Peace and Security including Countering Violent Extremism" cluster, and thank to a good knowledge of what is happening in our world, I had the chance to work with other participants on some key issues concerning young people and affecting peace at local, national and global level,” she adds.
Nandesh on his part notes that it was an engaging experience to take part in the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit with 120 motivated young people trying to create a better world. “I was pleased to represent Scouting on such a platform, and fulfil our advocacy goals whilst sharing best practices,” he says.
“I worked as part of the Education and Skills thematic cluster, and we were able to advocate for the recognition of competences of Non-Formal Education in the Abidjan Declaration. It was a great opportunity to engage in dialogue with many young people from different walks of life, who despite their differences, had common goals for the betterment of education in the two continents,” he adds.
The two Scouts also showcased 2 projects: Unguvu project and Amahoro-Amani project as examples of best practices in the collaboration between youth organizations in Africa and Europe. The opportunity was a good way to let other people understand how Scouts are really engaged in implementing the cooperation among our continents, and above all, by giving the possibility to the youth to share their opinions and feel part of todays society as engaged actors.
The outcomes of the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit is detailed in Declaration developed by the participants to be put forward to Heads of States and Governments that will be meeting at the 5th AU-EU Summit in November. The declaration can be accessed at http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/en/newsroom/all-news/4th-africa-eur....
A team of 36 young people from both Africa and Europe, including Sonia, who will be taking part in the Youth Plug-In Initiative will use the declaration as a basis for pursuing further development of concrete actions towards implementation of the recommendations of the summit.
The 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit was organized by youth organization platforms in Africa and Europe (the Pan-African Youth Union, the Network of International Youth Organizations in Africa, and the European Youth Forum) as well as diaspora organizations (ADYNE, ADYFE and ACP-YPN), with input from the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. It is supported by the European Union in partnership with the African Union together with Côte d'Ivoire as the hosting country.