Accra, 11th July,2018.
In a recent meeting in the Ghanaian capital city-Accra, stakeholders representing government agencies, international NGOs, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), youth organizations and the private sector expressed strong support to the 2nd African Youth SDGs Summit scheduled to take place from the 7th-9th November,2018 at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana.
The Summit, a large gathering of African youth with the aim to mobilizing Africa`s young people to participate in the SDGs implementation across the continent, held its first edition in 2017, in partnership with the United Nations, with over 420 delegates from 25 countries attending two days of interactive workshops, plenary sessions, and speeches on the theme “Africa’s Youth as Drivers of Sustainable Development.”
This year, the Summit’s theme: “Partnership with Youth to Achieve the SDGs: Moving from Policy to Actions” has received support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the 2030 Youth Alliance, and many others, is expected to attract some 1,000 participants from across Africa and beyond.
“In an era of unprecedented number of youth living today in countries most in need of development, there is a realization that this generation will largely drive the outcome of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will also be the ones who will have to live with the results”, said Ms. Erika Goldson, the Deputy Country Representative of UNFPA, speaking at the preparatory meeting.
“Investment in their education, health and livelihoods as well as in organizations, initiatives and partnerships led by youth will be critical to achieving every one of these goals”, she added.
Ms. Esther Amankwah, an Executive Board member of Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) acknowledged the UN agencies, development partners and the Government of Ghana through the SDGs Advisory Unit and the Ministry of Planning for their support towards the convening of the African Youth SDGs Summit. “the Summit Secretariat is liaising with the government partners to secure the attendance of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Co-Chair of the UN Eminent Group of Advocates for the SDGs to officially open the Summit on the 7th of November2018.”, she said.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s , Economic Analyst, Sylvia Sefakor Senu, noted that UNDP is glad to support the Summit recognizing the efforts of the Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) and its organizing 2030 Youth Alliance in their quest to mobilizing Africa’s largest population, the youth, to actively participate in the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. She acknowledged the active contribution of the youth in the post-2015 era leading to the adoption of the SDGs.
“Reorienting and empowering the youth to be conscious and understand the SDGs is a genuine way to implement these goals’’, she added.
For Cletus Alengah, a Research and Policy Associate, from the SDGs Advisory Unit at Ghana`s Office of the President, the efforts of the Government of Ghana in ensuring participation of the youth in the achievement of the SDGs are laudable. He disclosed that, the SDGs Advisory Unit will soon launch an initiative that will enable young people to compete and propose innovative solutions to address challenges in our society.
The meeting was presented a progress report by Emmanuel Ametepey, the Convener of the Summit, and followed with group activities where participants brainstormed, discussed and proposed different topics for plenaries, workshops, debates and action segments to climax the 2018 edition of the Summit.