Government officials, business leaders, policy makers and African youth met at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently for the 5th Intergenerational Dialogue.
The gathering was aimed at discussing and identifying the role of African youth in the continent's ongoing development in light of the youth engagement and development goals for Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals' strategic plans.
While much of the discussion focused on how to reach out to and engage young Africans -- particularly by implementing the 54-member African Youth Charter -- participants also highlighted the importance of youth finding their own ways of getting involved in political and economic issues.
“The Government is not some entity from the sky," African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said. "Governments are the people you elected and placed in power to be the servant of the people, so ensure that you all take active roles to make informed decisions on the kind of leaders governing the continent.”
Government officials also said it was up to young people to be the leaders of innovation and help generate new ideas to drive progress, particularly in sectors such as agriculture.
Over the course of the two-day gathering, young people identified their most-pressing concerns, which included the economic rights of youths and women, youth participation in peacemaking, education and overall peace and security in Africa.
Speaking through Pan African Union President Francine Muyumba, the youth also underscored investment opportunities, agriculture and youth-friendly business development services.