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ECOWAS Partners AU on Youth Empowerment
LR Raheemat Momodu Amb Theodore Njikam ECCAS Rep to the AU Amb Salah Hammad Halima Ahmed Mrs May Agbamuche Mbu and Dr Keith Jennings

Abuja 12th September 20170. The ECOWAS Commission is partnering with the African Union (AU) on the empowerment of the youth of the continent with a bid to release their creative energies, raise their productivity and turn a vibrant human resource into an African development force.


To this end, a three-Day regional consultation meeting on the theme: Harnessing the Democratic Dividend through Investments in Youth began at the ECOWAS Commission, Abuja, Nigeria on the 12th of September 2017.


Declaring the West and Central African cross-regional consultation meeting open, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mrs. Halima Ahmed said the platform provides open, collaborative and inclusive space for young people to “critically and objectively reflect on progress made so far, challenges encountered, and prospects for enhancing meaningful youth participation in Africa’s democratization processes”

Group photograph of participants

Coming on the 10th year anniversary of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance (ACDEG), the meeting is timely with the world’s youth population projected to get as high as one third of the global figures by 2050 and with west, central and east Africa expected to account for much of the rise.

Commissioner Ahmed noted that since youth are critical in bringing about social and political transformation, there is need “for deliberate, constructive and strategic efforts to ensure that the size of our youth population in ECOWAS Member States is depicted as a ‘democratic dividend’ carrying hopes for future growth and development in the region”


She also stressed the importance of partnering with the ubiquitous private sector in order to advance the cause of the youth.

Cross section of youth


The acting Head of the AU’s African Governance Architecture (AGA) Ambassador Salah Ahmed stressed that Africa cannot be a better place for its people unless the youth take up the gauntlet to become the genuine leaders of tomorrow. “We must find a way to eradicate the negative definition of youth. We recognize that youths are key stakeholders in the drive to create a healthy continent” he added.

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