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Botswana, 15-18 August 2018 – Youth from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East Africa convened in Gaborone, under the auspices of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Youth Engagement Strategy (AGA-YES). The meetings were aimed at leveraging and reinforcing young people’s insights, capacities, and initiatives for preventing and fighting corruption in Africa. The hundred (100) youth representatives gathered around the 2018 African Union Theme: “Winning the fight against corruption: a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation.”
The AGA regional youth consultation was officially opened by Botswana’s Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Hon. Dikgang Makgalemele who referred to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as a trusted tool for eradicating corruption. The APRM Secretariat was represented by Mr. Lennon Monyae who moderated a Panel Session on the “Assessment of Anti- Corruption Normative & Institutional Frameworks at Global, Continental, Regional and National Levels”. In his delivery, Mr Monyae reminded the audience of the APRM 15th anniversary theme ‘Towards Universal Accession’ in order to encourage young people to play their part in fighting corruption, promoting good governance as well as participate in the APRM and its monitoring and evaluation processes; both at national and continental level.
Youth representatives also deliberated on AU Member State’s delays in signing, ratifying and domesticating the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Africa (AUCPCC). The convention was signed in Mozambique, 2013 and entered into force on August 5, 2006. Article 22 of the AUCPCC led to the establishment of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) in 2009 to encourage the promotion, adoption and implementation of anti-corruption measures on the continent. Hon. Elisabeth Gnansounou Fourn, as AUABC representative, noted the achievements and challenges faced by AUABC based in Arusha and added that “We need more commitment from AU Member States and increase our youth participation initiatives in fighting corruption”.
Participants took this opportunity to renew their commitment to eradicate corruption and urged African leaders to strengthen African institutions. Amb. Salah Hammad, Head of AGA Secretariat, praised and encouraged the participants for their respective efforts in their communities. He noted the important role of the youth in fighting corruption and further stated that, “Young people were at the forefront in the fight against liberation and today, the fight against corruption cannot be won without youth’s contributions”.
The AGA secretariat will conduct subsequent Consultative Meetings in Dakar, Senegal; for the Western and Central African region from 29-31 August 2018 and in Casablanca, Morocco; for the Northern Africa region, from 12-14 September 2018.