To ensure young Africans are taking personal responsibility to stay safe and are included in decision-making, the African Union Youth Envoy, Ms Aya Chebbi joined hands with the AU Commissioner of Social Affairs, H.E. Amira Elfadil, and AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, and Technology, H.E. Prof. Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang (HRST) to launch the African Youth Front on Coronavirus that aims to create a platform for youth to contribute to the implementation of African Continental Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Pandemic.

H.E Commissioner Amira, applauded the Office of the Youth Envoy for this initiative, citing the critical role of youth in the fight against COVID-19 in the continent. 

“This initiative is very important for us as Social Affairs department and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) which is leading the fight against COVID-19 in Africa. We need the young generation to take up their place in the digital frontlines and share innovative ways to respond to the pandemic, taking the lead in engaging their peers, communities, and governments. 

The African Youth Front on Coronavirus is a youth-led multi-stakeholders advocacy group designed to bring Africa youth to the decision-making table to ensure youth solutions are incorporated in Africa’s response to the pandemic. This aligns with the AUC’s 1 Million by 2021 Initiative, which seeks to provide opportunities for African youth in the areas of employment, education, entrepreneurship and engagement (4Es). Under the engagement pillar, the initiative seeks to create meaningful platforms for youth to contribute to the response to the pandemic and provides an opportunity for youth-led advocacy.  

“It’s also very important that the African Union Member States engage youth in the fight against COVID-19. When those policies are being made please bring youth, when the health sector meet please bring young proficiencies into the conversation so that together we will beat COVID-19 hands down” said AU Commissioner, H.E Prof.  Sarah Anyang, “The Future is us only if we can harness the demographic dividend through the investment in the youth of Africa” she said in conclusion.

“The African Union is the first intergovernmental organization to create a high-level policy and advocacy framework for young people to co-lead Africa’s response to the pandemic of COVID-19”, said the African Union Youth Envoy during the launch, “We can only create a better peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent, where African youth have a seat at the table to contribute youth-led solutions.” 

Prior to the launch of the Africa Youth Front on Coronavirus, the Office of the Youth Envoy in collaboration with Africa CDC, convened a Virtual AU Youth Consultations Series on COVID-19 to discuss the socio-economic impact of COVID19 on African Youth who are already struggling with high rates of unemployment. Over 300 youth leaders from over 40 African countries participated. 

H.E. Amira Elfadil, and AU Commissioner for Social Affairs; Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC; and Dr Solomon Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) have been guests in the webinars.

Learn more about African Youth Front on Coronavirus

Note Editors: About the Office of the AU Youth Envoy 

The AU Office of the Youth Envoy is a Pan-African collaborative movement with a committed AU Youth Advisory Council supporting the office mandate and spearheading regional engagement. As mandated by the Chairperson, the office launched the 2019/2020 Action Plan.  

The OYE supports the work of the African Union, Department Human Resources, Science and Technology Department (Youth Division) on youth mainstreaming and advocacy for the implementation of progressive policies and impactful actions that promote youth participation, engagement and leadership towards the realisation of real transformation for youth development.

The AU Youth Envoy is mandated to serve as a representative of and advocate for the voices and interests of African youth to the relevant African Union decision-making bodies.

Since November 2018, the AU Youth Envoy’s office has engaged African Youth on the continent and in the diaspora to draw them towards supporting and promoting positive social change, intergenerational dialogue and concrete action for Africa’s development as underscored in Agenda 2063.