"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
|Natalie Kyamutetera & Boubakar Yougbare|
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 Diaspora...to 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 own constitution, pursued engagement with the African Union Youth Division and geared its self through an Interim Executive Council to hold a General Assembly. The African Youth Commission turned from a virtual community to one governed by a constitution when its inaugural General Assembly was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 24-25 January 2017.
"Among its vision as a Commission is to become the youth’s own version of the AUC, where all inspiring and capable young African leaders and African Diaspora can organize themselves...in the context of Africa’s development through the AU Agenda 2063 development aspirations." - AYC
At the inaugural General Assembly of the AYC, youth candidates gathered for elections of the Executive Council for the Commission. Through a process which included vigorous oversight from an Election Committee (established via the General Assembly), 10 individuals were elected; 2 Chairpersons and 8 Commissioners. Of the 56 participants at the Election process, up to 32 countries were represented [according to the report by the Chairperson of the Electoral Committee: Arlette Alexis]. The Newly elected Executive Council of the African Youth Commission featured an exact gender balance, which was widely celebrated considering the previous threat of an all-male dominated candidature.
We present to you the Executive Council of the African Youth Commission:
AUTHOR: Philani Hlophe Dhlamini