The African Union Commission’s Youth Division within the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate (WGYD) in partnership with UNICEF, the AUC’s flagship partner on the training, held the first-ever virtual training of the 11th cohort. The training of 238 young professionals from all 55 Member States ran from 22nd March to 23rd April.

The virtual training was also the launch of the Youth Division’s Youth Development and Engagement Training available on the AU Learn platform. The training seeks to provide them with 21st-century competencies that would enhance their technical competencies and take users on a journey to equip them with skills and tools that will positively impact their professional lives. The ten-step journey taught them the following;

  1. Afrocentricity, Pan Africanism, and the AUC
  2. Youth as change agents
  3. CV development, interview techniques, and virtual working
  4. Design thinking
  5. Entrepreneurship
  6. Researching and analyzing problems through research methodology and systems thinking
  7. Emotional intelligence
  8. Results based accountability and reporting, as well as community engagement, advocacy, and social media engagement
  9. Proposal development, and writing skills and,
  10. Public speaking and pitching effectively

At the closing ceremony on April 23rd H.E Alex Ratebaye, Deputy Chief of Staff of the AUC gave the commencement speech to the 11th cohort. He congratulated the Youth Division on the excellent management of the AUYVC program and imparted knowledge to the cohort on how to be effective international civil servants.

“It is important to note that as young people you can transform spaces as long as you honor your diversity and tackle every task with the professionalism your work will require. Let us give our best to Africa,” he said.

H.E. Sarah Anyang Agbor, the Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation highlighted the impact of the program and how it has grown since its launch in 2010. She congratulated the Cohort of Firsts in carrying out all the tasks with aplomb.

“You learned the core tenets of any engaged young person - Attitude, Aptitude, Awareness, and Action, which we call the 4As. I fully expect that all the capacity you have amassed in these 4 weeks will take you forward to a place of action. I cannot wait to hear of the positivity you will shine across the continent as ambassadors of the AUYVC, of the African Union, and of Africa,” she stated.

Dr. Edward Addai, Representative of UNICEF to the AU and ECA also joined other high-level guests to congratulate the 11th cohort on staying the course.

Dr. Addai said, “The moment you see a problem, see an opportunity to make a difference, see an opportunity to develop a business model that is sustainable financially and institutionally. This course has given you the essential pillars for going into the world as a change agent. As you graduate remember that your role as a change agent is to make the world a better place, make it easy for people to be better than they are.”

Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, the Head of the Youth Development Division moderated the high-level closing ceremony and in congratulating the 11th cohort, implored them to prove everyone right, “My message to you is simple – prove us all right. Everyone who saw the effort put into your applications, everyone who has seen your dedication throughout this past 4 weeks, everyone who encouraged you to get up and not be late for your lessons, the trainers who developed and delivered this remarkable content specifically with all of you in mind – prove us all right.”

She also thanked all the partners who had developed and delivered the content and these include, including UNICEF, AU Departments, GIZ, Kwakha Indvodza, and UNICEF Global Volunteer Initiative.

Although training sessions were closed the conversation series, opening, and closing sessions were streamed live on the AU Youth Program Facebook page.