Lesotho takes part in SADC Youth Forum

STAFF REPORTER

MASERU – Lesotho will be part of the second edition of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Youth Forum (SAYoF) scheduled for Mozambique for August 12 to 14 – the meeting will be held virtually due to on-going COVID-19 restrictions regionally. The SADC Youth Forum is an annual event hosted before the SADC Heads of States and Government Summit to deliberate on critical issues affecting young people and proffer sustainable solutions in the region.  Themed ‘Catalysing Youth Agency in Regional Processes: Our Future Starts Today’ the 2020 Forum is expected to be attended by more than 500 young people and stakeholders from 16 SADC Countries, contributing to various sessions.

It also carries the message the 2020 Youth Parliament theme dubbed “Born into debt: Young people’s future under threat”. Young people constitute more than 60 percent of total population in the SADC region and are important players in the development of the region. This year’s Forum has attracted high level speakers from the region, including Deputy Minister Emma Theofelus from Namibia, leaders of Youth Councils, from Africa Union, World Bank, Young people from vulnerable Communities, and youth organisations, change makers, universities among other.

It starts with the SADC Youth Parliament with 80 young people from 16 SADC Countries discussing solution-oriented approaches that will feed in to the SADC Youth Forum outcomes. The outcomes for the three-day SADC Youth Forum will be shared with the SADC Secretariat, Heads of States and Government, member states, regional organisations, the African Union, the United Nations and other stakeholders for action. The young people and youth organisations will also take the outcomes for implementation at country level.

Ahead of the Forum, various thematic committees composed of young people who were selected after a rigorous process of application were established to prepare for the Forum, and youth leaders are actively taking part as members in different committees such as the SADC Youth Forum Committee , SADC Youth Parliament, Health (including COVID-19) Committee, Governance, Policy and Political Inclusion Committee, Environment and Climate Change Committee, Education, Science, and Technology Committee, Gender Committee, Peace and Security (Migration and Transitional Justice) Committee, Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Media and Communication Committee and Disability Committee

The SAYoF is the the primary convener of the SADC Youth Forum and SADC Youth Parliament and a coordinating body for youth and youth organisations in SADC, youth representative in the SADC-CNGO, the Africa Focal Point in United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY) and appointed by Africa Union to be part of the Africa Youth Front on COVID-19 a high level policy and advocacy framework by the Africa Union for young people to co-lead Africa’s response to COVID-19.

 

 

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