By Gami Tadanyigbe
The Youth Model African Union, an African Youth platform, has commenced its 2nd Extraordinary Summit in Abuja, to role play the activities of African Union for building diplomatic and leadership skills in the region.
The Convener of the union, Mr Igweshi Augustine, said the summit is aimed at convening youths from 55 member states of the African Union (AU) to simulate the processes and practices of the AU.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit, which will last from Nov. 24 to 26, is themed: “Fostering The Implementation of AU 2063 Agenda and AfCTA for African Development”.
Augustine said the Youth Model African Union, formerly known as Abuja Model African Union, is a platform that brings together African youths to simulate and role-play what AU does.
According to him, the summit also aims to expose participants to the system and workings of the AU as well as improve their knowledge about AU and strengthen their capacity.
“What informed our decision to host the Youth Model African Union Summit is that we identify a gap that African youths do not know much about the AU.
“Over the years, young people participated in the Model United Nations but much has not been done about Model African Union, like understanding the system and the workings of AU.
“We brought together young people from 55 member states of AU to role-play the activities of the Union to build their leadership, diplomatic and improve understanding, workings of the AU,” he said.
However, he called on the Nigerian government to increase funding to the education sector to meet up standard of UNESCO benchmark for the socio-economic development of the country.
He revealed that the government has been budgeting about five to six per cent of its total budget only for education while the UNESCO benchmark is about 15 to 20 per cent to enable robust transformation in the sector.
Augustine also called on youths in the country not to allow themselves to be used for political malpractices and violence during and after the 2023 general elections, but rather see themselves as agents of positive transformation.
A participant from the Gambia, Hon. Sarata Ceesay, who described the summit as very interactive, said it was timely, interesting and informative for nation building.
Ceesay added that it was an avenue for African youths to connect and engage while simulating the practices and processes of the AU and its organs.
She maintained that the summit aimed at brainstorming solutions to Africa’s most pressing challenges and contribute to designing policy responses for regional integration, sustainable peace and economic growth and development of Africa.
According to her, the summit will also provide an opportunity to facilitate dialogue amongst youths as well as build leadership and diplomatic skills in governance, human rights, Pan Africanism, community development and career in diplomacy that will shape Africa.
Meanwhile, the Founder of Kings Patriot/Pink Idear Africa, Mr Jude Dahilo, called on the stakeholders at all levels to give adequate attention to girl-child education to build a greater society and promote gender equality.
Dahilo noted that when one girl is educated, a whole community is strengthened, because educated girls delay marriage, have fewer children, earn higher income and contribute to the community.
According to him, when girls gain skills, knowledge and confidence, they break the cycle of poverty and rise up strong, so that their families and communities will strive.
“There is need for all Stakeholders to prioritise girl-child education through consistent and articulated plan captured in the annual budget,” he said. (NAN)