The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by African Union (AU) member States as an African self-monitoring mechanism held its inaugural International Youth Symposium in Ndjamena, Chad on the 1st and 2nd of July 2019. Participants at the event collaborated in curation and witnessed the issuing of N’Djamena declaration on youth participation in good governance efforts in Africa.
The symposium themed, “Youth as a driving force for good governance in Africa”, was held under the Patronage of H.E. Idriss Deby Itno, President of Chad.
In his statement, President Idriss Deby Itno reiterated the need to have youth at the centre of governance matters associated with the APRM review process. The President declared that each African country should have an APRM youth ambassador. These ambassadors are expected to be members of the newly formed APRM Youth Network.
In celebrating the momentous occasion of the first APRM international youth symposium, the APRM Continental Secretariat CEO, Professor Eddy Maloka, energized the youths to be custodians of their countries’ governance issues given their demographic numerical majority. He emphasized on the need for youths to self-organize and be fearless in their quest for good governance on the continent.
Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons echoed the CEO’s sentiments by emphasizing that power is never given but taken thus youths have to make concerted efforts to be part of the governance structures in their respective countries.
Ms Aya Chebbi, the African Union Envoy for Youth further challenged the youth to look at local and regional examples where peaceful revolutions have taken place in order to come up with best practices for youth involvement in politics and governance matters.
The event also included the launch of the 2019 Africa Governance Report under the theme of, “Promoting Shared Values”.
Five interactive sessions were held where robust debate and exchange of ideas occurred among the youth. Topics covered ranged from Intergenerational dialogue to the impact of security threats on the youth in Africa.
The APRM is often described as “Africa’s unique and innovative approach to governance” with the objective of improving governance dynamics at the local, national and continental levels thus youths should take advantage of the existing mechanisms to fully engage their governments in their quests to provide comprehensive human development for all.
The APRM is on a mission to promote the African Union’s ideals and shared values of democratic governance and inclusive development by encouraging all member states of the AU to collaborate and voluntarily participate in the home grown, credible, rigorous, independent and self-driven peer review process and the implementation of its recommendations.4