Agenda 2063 is the strategic framework for socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 45 years. Aspiration 6 of the AU Agenda 2063 speaks of an “Africa where development is people driven, unleashing the potential of its women and youth”. Young Africans, women and men will be the pioneers of the African knowledge society that will contribute significantly to innovation and entrepreneurship. The creativity, energy and innovation of African youth will be the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation. Youths do not only play a critical role in the socio-economic development of Africa, but will also be the beneficiaries of Agenda 2063.
The rationale behind the establishment of the African Union Development Agency/NEPAD (AUDA/NEPAD) is that it shall be a vehicle for the better execution of the African Union Agenda 2063.
In this regard, the mandate of the AUDA/NEPAD is:
(i) To coordinate and execute priority regional and continental projects to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realisation of Agenda 2063;
(ii) To strengthen capacity of African Union Member States and regional bodies; advance knowledge-based advisory support, undertake the full range of resource mobilisation, and serve as the continent’s technical interface with all Africa’s development stakeholders and development partners.
Unfortunately, many of the governance structures in African societies have largely marginalised youths in the decision making space. However, the changing demographic status underscores the urgent need for active participation of youth in shaping ‘The Africa We Want’ and driving Africa’s development, including Agenda 2063. The fastest growing and most youthful population in the world today can be found in Africa, with over 40% of its population under the age of 15 and 20% between the ages of 15 and 24.
In an effort to promote African youth’s active participation in the continent’s development, the African Union Development Agency/NEPAD is running a short essay contest, targeting young African people and its diaspora in proposing concrete pathways through which Agenda 2063, the continent’s framework for transformation, can be fast-tracked. The contest aims to provide the space through which youths can express their views freely on “The Africa We Want” by articulating their aspirations and ideals for shaping the future of our continent.