Skip to main content

INTERVIEW: Aya Chebbi on her Agenda for African Youth!

Aya Chebbi

As part of our focus on Youth & the African Union, we interviewed Ms. Aya Chebbi of Tunisia. Aya is the Founder of the African Youth Movement (AYM) and an internationally acclaimed Youth Activist. As a very vocal youth leader and public figure, here is what she has to say about her agenda for the African Youth...

Q Please introduce the African Youth Movement (AYM) – What is your “Movement” about?
A "I have had this vision that, in our shared marginalization as young Africans, we could develop a sense of common identity and a critical consciousness that would enable us to challenge the status quo. That is how AYM was born. It is a movement to grow this common identity with strategic collective response to our own challenges. AYM is a movement of young African visionaries, organizers and advocates in Africa and around the world taking the agenda of African youth from the margins of society into the centers of national, regional and international discourse towards the realization of Africa’s political, social and economic prosperity."

Q As a prominent Youth leader, what are your thoughts on the relationship between the Youth and the African Union?
A "I think it is a mutual relationship of disconnection. On the one hand, most young Africans are uninformed about the AU agenda, structure, frameworks and running activities. They don’t either know or have the tools to influence this institution and use it eventually to influence their leaders and national strategies. So young people need to get informed, engage, lobby and mobilize! 
On the other hand, the resources allocated to different activities, don’t fully reflect the AU claimed advocacy for youth empowerment. The AU needs to treat young people as stakeholders, not just as volunteers or participants, and it needs to walk the talk and implement the beautifully drafted papers to mainstream youth issues at the heart of its agenda and programmes."

Q The AYM is a continent-wide mission, how do you foresee the impact of your Movement over the next decade?
A "We aspire to be the vision that connects the struggles and unite the voices of African youth in the fight for peace and social justice. We are working to build a large-scale community of million young Africans making change for Africa. In the next decade, AYM will play a major role in bridging divides between youth and leadership (governments/AU and others), North and sub-Saharan, Africa and diaspora etc... Beside mobilizing youth to act as a solidarity network and support system where any member can have our collective advocacy and support backing their meaningful work, ideas and communities."

Q What is your message to the African Youth?
A "Our rights and the leadership positions we seek are not something to be given to us, we shall claim them. We will be in those leadership positions sooner or later as those in power will not last forever so let’s all get well prepared. Be reminded and remind your leaders that they are public servants of the people, not the other way around. So young people, start now serving your community so when you take on that critical leadership, you would still understand your position as serving not entitlement! And finally let’s harness our energy, passion and creativity in bettering this motherland not destroying it."


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Call For African Youth Activists

What is an “Ignite Activist”? ­ An Ignite Activist is a high powered​ and ambitious young African individual. They are patriotic about their own country and the African continent as a whole. They are keen to speak out, share their opinions or experiences, and are always ready to defend the well-being of the African Youth! As vocal youth activists, they strive to not only lead the conversation on African Youth, but to ignite young Africans into Change-makers!
About Our Youth Activism Program ­ For a period of up to 6 months, corresponding youth activists will be engaged under the leadership and guidance of our International Panel. While there will be a formal set of activities, youth activists will have the liberty to call upon fellow members towards a particular cause, post and share articles or video messages to make themselves and their views heard! After 6 months of voluntary service, these members will be accorded with Alumni status and receive adequate recognition for their selfle…

Bisharo Ali Hussein (Somalia) - African Youth Role Model Series

Bisharo Ali Hussein is a Kenyan-Somali activist and outspoken champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Somalia. She channels her activism through her career as a Protection Officer for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Galkayo, Somalia and also served as an African Youth Activist of Ignite The Youth from 2015 to 2016. As an Ignite The Youth activist she shared on the youth experiences of conflict in her country and “Ensuring Access to Education for all”. Her most spirited campaigns however were part of her Women’s Rights agenda; which focused on demanding an end to Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and her advocacy for Gender Equality; arguing for gender-biased inheritance laws to change. Bisharo is currently pursuing her Postgraduate Diploma in ‘International Gender Studies’ at the University of Iceland.
Almost 2 years after serving as a corresponding activist for Ignite The Youth, Bisharo insists that Somali women remain one of the most vulnerable groups in…

The African Youth Commission [PROFILE]

"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
The African Youth Commission (AYC) was founded in November 2013, as the African Union Youth Working Group (AUYWG), at a Youth Consultation on Agenda 2063 in Tunis,Tunisia. From 2013 to 2015 the AUYWG collaborated via an active mailing list, for the 2 years of online interaction the network invited numerous African Youth Leaders in the continent and diaspora. The working group later changed into a Commission as the cause of the network evolved by consensus to create a youth mirror to the African Union Commission. 
"The main objective of establishing the Commission is to organize all young people in Africa and support the work of African youth, Youth structures (Pan African Youth Union & Youth Division of the African Union Commission) in their quest to effective service delivery and advocacy activities on the African Youth Charter..." - AYC
At this point the Commission proceeded to draft its o…