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2020-11-17ASAF Reports

The 5th African-European Youth Forum 2020

German Federal Minister Gerd Müller invited young people from Africa and Europe to participate online in the 5th African-European Youth Forum on 28 and 29 September 2020.

Anthony Simbeya, ASAF Member

The African-European Youth Forum is a platform with the aim of giving youths from Africa and Europe the opportunity to articulate their ideas on the future and activities of the EU-Africa partnership. The results of the African-European Youth Forum are meant to feed into the Youth Summit and its recommendations to the Heads of State and Government.

This year`s forum was the 5th event since its inception and was hosted online from the 28th to the 29th of September 2020. Youth representatives from the two continents were invited to discuss the current approach to sustainable economic development and propose green innovative ways of doing business amid the corona-crisis. Furthermore, the forum took note of where we stand in the attainment of the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) and what needs to be done to accelerate their implementation.

The expected outcomes of the event were: identification of ways to build back better after the corona-crisis and joint elaboration of ways to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Outcomes of the forum discussions were published in the form of the African European Youth “Roadmap of Solutions”, which will be handed over to representatives from the AU and the EU. The participants underwent a training as representatives prior to the event to get acquainted with the online software and platforms that were used to successfully carry out the event online.

On the first day of the forum, we were welcomed by a vibrant presenter and host by the name of Shary Reeves. Thereafter, we received welcoming remarks by State Secretary Martin Jäger from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. We then proceeded to the assigned groups for the forum discussions. There were six working groups namely:

  1. Nutrition and poverty (SDG 1 and 2)
  2. Sustainable growth and employment (SDG 8)
  3. Education and digitalisation (SDG 4)
  4. Climate action and renewable energy (SDG 7 and 13)
  5. Peace and security, good governance, political inclusion (SDG 16)
  6. Health and the impacts of COVID-19 (SDG 3)

As a member of ASAF with healthcare training from Zambia, I was part of the Health and the impacts of COVID-19 (SDG 3) group, where discussions and recommendations were made.

It was a thrilling experience to interact, intellectually argue and brainstorm with individuals from different capacities in healthcare over the future of health in Africa and Europe. The first day was concluded with the establishment of three recommendations from each of the discussion groups. The second day started with statements from Dr. Gerd Müller (German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development) Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor (AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology) and Jutta Urpilainen, (EU Commissioner for International Cooperation).

Later that day, each working group presented their recommendations followed by an exchange with Dr. Gerd Müller. Furthermore, a moderated talk between the youth rapporteurs and the representatives from EU and AU took place. There was a virtual handover of the Youth Roadmap of Solutions to Dr. Gerd Müller and to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (South African Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities in the Presidency). The final day was then concluded with comments on the “Youth Roadmap of Solutions”.

It was indeed an honour to be part of a team of brilliant individuals and change initiators in an effort to improve Africa and Europe. I would like to thank ASAF for the collaboration and opportunity.

Cologne, 17 Nov 2020
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