African Union, new partnership for Africa`s development and the youth
30 June 2002
The ANC Youth League convened the leadership of the African youth to consolidate their input on the African Union and NEPAD between the 28 and the 30th June 2002.
This was further necessitated by the fact that for it is the current generation of youth that will have to implement NEPAD in the future. It is these youth that will serve on structures of AU in the near future.
We, the youth from the length and breath of Africa, gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, representing young people of our continent hereby commit ourselves to serving the needs, aspirations and dreams of our fellow youth in Africa.
We live in a unique continent. Our challenges are complex and many. Our people are diverse and expectant. Our dreams are beautiful and melancholy. Our history is tragic and inspired. Our future is literally in our hands. We need a rebirth of hope and unity to regain and fulfil our dreams.
We are gathered here:
- Inspired by the noble ideals which are guided by the founding principles of unity, solidarity, cohesion, equality, democracy and cooperation among the peoples and youth of Africa;
- Recalling the unwavering heroic struggles waged by our people, young and old, and our countries for political independence, human dignity and economic emancipation;
- Further recalling with pain the sufferings that our people endured under brutal colonialism, apartheid, imperialism and noting the legacy of our past that continues to define social conditions in Africa;
- Guided by our common vision of a united and strong Africa and by the need to build and support partnership between and among ourselves and our governments and all other progressive organs of civil society;
- Conscious of the fact that our continent is vulnerable to conflict and wars which constitute a threat to the socio-economic development of our continent and of the dire need to promote peace, security and stability as a prerequisite for the implementation of development and integration of Africa;
- Recognising the continuously changing global environment and commit ourselves to ensure that such changes do not perpetuate the marginalisation of Africa`s young men and women;
- Considering that since its inception, the Pan African Youth Movement has played a determining and invaluable role in the liberation of Africa, the mobilisation of young people and the affirmation of a common identity and the process of attainment of the unity of youth across the continent and has provided, through the OAU, a unique framework for our collective action in Africa and in our relations with the rest of the world;
- Determined like our Heads of States to take up challenges that confront our continent and peoples in the light of the social, economic, and political changes taking place in the world that we live in;
- Determined to promote and protect human and peoples` rights, consolidate democracy and democratic culture, and ensure that our countries adhere to good governance and the rule of law;
- Further determined to take all measures at our disposal to build and strengthen youth organisations in the continent and mobilise necessary resources to enable them to discharge their respective mandates effectively and efficiently.
- The New Partnership for Africa`s Development is an initiative of Africa, a pledge by African leaders, based on a common vision and a firm and shared conviction;
- NEPAD is a call for the reversal of the abnormal relations between the countries of the North and South;
- NEPAD is about the consolidation and acceleration of the struggles of Africa`s peoples against domination and for Bettering the lives of Africans;
- NEPAD is a systematic response to Globalisation and Africa`s contribution in building itself and a just world order;
- NEPAD is a programme to end the scourge of underdevelopment and poverty that afflicts our Continent by utilising its resources (human and material), including capital, technology that are required to launch a global war on poverty and underdevelopment;
- The African Union is an institutional arrangement for the implementation and coordination of NEPAD`s objectives;
- NEPAD should provide a platform and framework for the development and empowerment of youth in the continent of Africa.
We therefore declare:
On the celebration of Fourty-six years since the birth of the first liberated country in Africa, fourty years of the founding of the Pan African Youth Movement, thirty nine years after the formation of the Organisation of African Unity, nine months after the World Conference Against Racism, fifty nine days before the World Summit on Sustainable Development, two days after the first Pan African Parliament and two days before the Inaugural Launch of the African Union, we as young Africans living in Africa remain conscious of the profound responsibility we bear as leaders today and for our common future.
We are committed to keeping and building Africa and our countries as a democratic, united, prosperous, non-racial and non-sexist continent in which all our people are equal and free.
We are committed to ensuring a better future for all the youth and peoples of our continent, regardless of; and overcoming differences in race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
We are committed to understanding and addressing the unique needs of the youth of our continent and to work with governments and African Union, civil society, religious leaders, private sector and all other stakeholders in resolving these.
We are committed to building a caring and moral Africa in which conflict, wars and violent crimes, especially against women and children, substance abuse, sexual abuse and violence, unsafe sex, prejudice – including xenophobia, tribalism and ethnicism, and discrimination against people with HIV-AIDS, family breakdown and the desperate needs of the poor are both understood and positively responded to by all of us.
We are committed to exercising leadership that is honest and committed in order to reconcile and develop meaningful human solidarity between and among all our countries in Africa.
We are committed to the promotion of democracy and the right to self-determination of all African countries.
We are committed to the development and transformation of our continent, her governments through AU, organs of states, services, civil society, business and labour as a representative, prosperous and fair role-model.
We are committed to rally all role players, including the youth to develop jobs and to acquire skills to carry their families, our nations and ourselves forward as a meaningful participation in the economic life and well being of this continent.
We are committed to promoting sport, entertainment, arts, recreation and intercultural exchanges as important vehicles to build healthy minds and healthy bodies amongst young people.
We are committed to continue Africa Youth Dialogues to contribute to the renaissance of development, democracy and unity in the continent that bears the deepest wounds from the colonial era.
We call on the youth of this great continent to volunteer their time and skills to address, especially, the needs of the poor and the sick so that our unselfishness can set an example for all as part of the moral regeneration of Africa.
We call on all our leaders and decision-makers in the continent to acknowledge our commitment to the present that we share and the future that will fall to us as the youth.
We call on the AU and our respective governments and business to institutionalise and resource youth development without delay, to bring us uniformity throughout the continent and to support meeting the needs and goals to which the youth have committed themselves.
We call on African intellectuals and the media to play a meaningful and progressive role in the implementation of NEPAD and the evolution of the AU to ensure the eradication of poverty and the repositioning of Africa on a sustainable developmental path.
We pledge to restructure the PAYM to position it well to play a new meaningful and constructive role in the war against poverty and underdevelopment.
We further call on the AU to support and strengthen all the progressive initiatives of Youth Regional Integration through the formation of the Regional Youth Movements in order to assist in the realisation of the NEPAD`s objectives.
We pledge our solidarity to the people of Western-Sahara, Swaziland including the people of Palestine in the heroic and revolutionary struggles against their illegitimate rulers.
We call and support the peaceful resolution of conflict in Angola, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Madagascar and Somalia.
We finally call on the African Governments and AU to intensify the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment; and against Racism and Imperialism and against all its forms and manifestations.
We, in the Africa Youth Dialogue, pledge to support all efforts by our governments to declare war against Racism and Imperialism.
We are determined in our resolve to ensure that never again will Africa be a subject of marginalisation and exploitation.
We thank our leaders for taking the lead for Africa`s Renaissance; and therefore support the NEPAD and AU as legitimate.
Africa Belongs to Africans! This is an African Century!
“AFRICA`S DEVELOPMENT – YOUTH TAKING THE LEAD!
Le pouvoir au peuple
Patria O muerte venseremos!
Pátria ou Morte – Venceremos!
Phambili ngehondo! Phambili ngechimorenga!