The African Union Commission through the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division (CPEWD) of the Peace and Security Department, convened a maiden consultative meeting with youth organizations and networks themed “Youth for Peace: Towards a Continental Strategic Framework for Youth Engagement in Conflict Prevention” from September 4 – 6, 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria.

As part of efforts to implement Article 17 of the African Youth Charter, which urged active engagement and collaboration with youth on peace and security in Africa, the AUC was developing a continental framework for the engagement of youth in its peace and security architectures, and had convened the meeting for critical discussion and evaluation.

Pan-African Youth Network for a Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP) was actively represented by the Chairperson, Ekene Johnpaul Ikwelle from Nigeria and its National Coordinator for DR Congo, Didier Masia Edigbo.

Deliberations went from the understanding of the Mandates and Engagement Strategies on Youth, Peace and Security of the participants present; to dissecting the important role of youth organizations, Media (traditional and new) and ICT on Peace and Security in Africa; and to the mapping of conflict issues and existing solutions which fed into the workshop to develop the strategic framework on Youth, Peace and Security.

Although the comprehensive report of the meeting is currently being developed, Intervention outcomes revolves around the development of a capacity building strategy for youth; Resource mobilization strategies including ways to engage the private sector, as well as documentation challenges around the work done by youth coalitions working on Peace and Security; a Youth, Peace and Security Roster; and an approach towards building the organizational capacity of youth organizations working on the thematic area of Peace for sustainability purposes.

For PAYNCoP, important outcomes were the side discussions on possible collaboration for its present intervention projects on Early Warning and Make-PeaceHappen on Elections through youth engagement, which revolved around capacity building engagements and partnership for implementation. PAYNCoP also committed to the proper development of its Research and Publication working group, and the inclusion of Post-conflict reconstruction, DRR and conflict mediation efforts in its 2019 – 2020 Bi-annual Action Plan.

The consultation was organised in collaboration with the Youth Division and African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, with support from African Center for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)/Training for Peace Program, and was attended by representatives from selected youth organizations, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), ACCORD, media and information technology experts, consultant for the development of the draft Framework on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), and other relevant departments in African Union Commission including the Conflict Management and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Division (CM-PCRD), Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD)/African Standby Force Continental Planning Element (ASFCPE), Defence and Security Division (DSD) amongst others.

The follow-up session would be organised at the completion of the development of the continental framework on Youth, Peace and Security, which is scheduled to happen before December 2018.