September 25, 2023 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with the Horn of Africa Youth Network (HoAYN) and Save the Children, is set to host a landmark Ministerial Meeting on September 27th, 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya, toward the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy. The ministerial meeting is preceded by a two-day Technical Experts gathering that was inaugurated today.
The IGAD Youth Policy, a pivotal framework for promoting youth rights in the IGAD Region, has been developed through extensive consultations with Technical Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from member states, National Youth Councils, Youth-Led Organisations, and the IGAD Secretariat. It is designed to guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.
The main objectives of the meeting are guided by the fact that the IGAD region is experiencing one of the highest growths in its youth populations globally, it is therefore essential to address the unique challenges faced by young people. The ministerial meeting’s primary objectives are as follows:
Adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy: The meetings objective is to officially adopt of the IGAD Youth Policy by the Council of Ministers responsible for Youth Affairs in the region, providing a vital policy and strategic direction for holistic youth development.
Development of Roadmap: Delegates will collaborate on creating a comprehensive roadmap and action plan for implementing the IGAD Youth Policy, ensuring its practical application.
Engagement with Stakeholders: The Ministers will seek the engagement and support of like-minded agencies and stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach to youth empowerment in the region.
The ministerial meeting and the experts meeting will be held in-person in Nairobi, Kenya and livestreamed on social media platforms of IGAD Secretariat, the Horn of Africa Youth Network, and Save the Children- Kenya. The Ministers will be reading country level declarations before the issuance of Communique while the Experts meeting of September 25 and 26 will feature a mix of presentations, working groups, and clinics to solicit feedback on regional engagement frameworks. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and learn from others.
Key participants include:
- Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda;
- Technical Youth Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from IGAD member tates;
- National Youth Councils and Youth-Led Civil Society Organizations from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda; and
- Development Partners.
Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD Executive Secretary said: “The young generation serves as a dynamic catalyst for societal transformation. It is incumbent upon us, as a region, to empower them, cultivating their capacities and fostering an environment that enables them to fully realise their potential. They play a significant role in propelling us towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. By harnessing their energy, innovation, and visions for a more equitable future, we can collectively advance towards a world that leaves no one behind”.,
David Momanyi, the Horn of Africa Youth Network Executive Director said: “While there are existing policy documents that address a wide range of youth concerns, there is need to review and harmonize them to develop a comprehensive youth policy that provide policy and strategic direction in addressing youth concerns in a holistic manner within the Horn of Africa region.”
Agnes Airo, Regional Youth Advisor for Save the Children’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office said: “The glaring reality as per the statistics is that youth are the present and the future, not only in Africa but globally. Collective effort by different actors and stakeholders is key in planning for and holistically addressing their needs of the young people to thrive. Commitment by governments to revise and implement national policies will reduce these vulnerabilities for better development and stability.”
Download attached Press Release in PDF below
Note to the Editors
News Editors and Media Practitioners are invited to cover the Ministerial conference on Sept 27 starting at 09:00 AM at Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel.
Name: Mahamed Ahmed Abdilahi – Head Communication and Public Information, IGAD
+256 709 554 743
Name: Diana Ouma – Communications and Advocacy Lead, Horn of Africa Youth Network
About IGAD: The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional organization dedicated to promoting economic cooperation, integration, and social development in the Horn of Africa region. IGAD’s Youth Policy is a critical framework for addressing youth issues in the region and fostering their meaningful participation in societal development.
About Horn of Africa Youth Network (HoAYN): The Horn of Africa Youth Network (HoAYN) is a leading advocate for youth empowerment in the Horn of Africa region. HoAYN plays a pivotal role in shaping regional youth policies and initiatives.
About Save the Children: Save the Children is a global organization dedicated to improving the lives of children worldwide. Save the Children’s involvement in the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy underscores its commitment to advancing youth rights and well-being in the region.