Pre-ICPD25 Gambia Youth Conference

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The 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, coupled with the 50th anniversary of UNFPA, call for galvanized efforts to take stock of the progress we have made so far and the gaps that remain in our drive to accelerate the ICPD Programme of Action. As such, UNFPA The Gambia, leveraged the 3rd Pan-African Youth Conference on African Unity and Development, co-hosted by the African Youth Commission (AYC) and the National Youth Council (NYC) under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports The Gambia, organised three high-level panels, capturing the voices and contributions of African youth, towards the achievement of the ICPD agenda.

These events were preceded by an interactive chat on Twitter organised in partnership with AfriYAN The Gambia, featuring UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Director, Mr. Mabingue Ngom, UNFPA The Gambia Representative, Mr. Kunle Adeniyi, and key young people leading change in their various countries.

This highly amplified chat, brought key issues specific to various countries on the continent, but also, created an opportunity for youth to identify opportunities and ways in which they can promote the ICPD agenda and accelerate its successful achievement.

ICPD+25: Accelerating the Promise from Cairo

The first panel on the 25 March, which also served as the official opening of UNFPA The Gambia’s ICPD+25 engagements in the country, was graced by Her Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia, Dr. Isatou Touray, government Ministers, heads of government and diplomatic missions, youth from across the continent, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the government of The Gambia, the Vice President reiterated the government’s commitment to prioritise issues of young people on its development agenda and the need to recognise that youth can make valuable contributions to the country’s growth and development.

Following the opening ceremony, the panel on Accelerating the Promise from Cairo, took place, bringing together representatives from government, civil society organisations, UNFPA. This panel, which was aimed at marking the twenty-five years of work since the ICPD in Cairo, focused on discussing progress that has been made since ICPD in 1994 and ICPD+20 as well as a call to action to accelerate actions towards delivering transformation for individual dignity and human rights for all, leaving no-one behind in Africa as part of realizing sustainable development.

ICPD CAFÉ: The Unfinished Business

The second session was styled as a TV show focused on the unfinished business, served as a call to action for young people to take up their roles in delivering on the Pan-African sustainable development and transformation vision which is aligned to ICDP ideals. Since governance and accountability are the primary means of achieving all goals espoused in the ICPD plan of action, the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063, panelists discussed the gaps that still exist towards the realisation of the Cairo promise and highlighted where we currently stand as a continent.

Being young people with lived experiences, in advocacy around the pillars of the ICPD agenda on the continent, they shared their experiences and their recommendations going forward on how young people in Africa can better mobilize and organize to effect the change they wish to see.

Through the session, some best examples of where youth leadership has played a pivotal and instrumental role in uplifting the ideals of good/ progressive governance and fostering a culture of citizen led accountability and delivering on human rights including sexual reproductive rights, were highlighted.

The panel was concluded with a presentation on Block Chain Technology and the role of technology in delivering on the development agenda., highlighting digital transformation opportunities and challenges in the current 4th Industrial Revolution.

ICPD Talks

Dubbed “Young, Bold and Winning!” the ICPD Talk session was the final engagements on the ICPD+25 at the African Youth Conference. The session featured young people who took it upon their social responsibility to challenge the status quo and embark on advocacy efforts.

These young people are, Ms. Jaha Dukureh from The Gambia, end FGM campaigner, Founder of Safe Hands for Girls and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, Mr. Gossy Ukanwoke from Nigeria, a Social Entrepreneur using technology to provide Nigerian Youth with an opportunity to get university education and finally, Ms. Bina Maseno from Kenya, a politician, social justice activist and founder of Badili Africa. These young people’s work is inspirational and epitomizes the kind of African Leadership we aspire to see leading our transformative agenda. They have saved lives, improved livelihoods, influenced changing legislation, compromised their lives in their pursuit of social justice and have gone boldly and fearlessly in the direction of their dreams.

We will be sharing a detailed report with recommendations from over 350 young people from across the continent shortly.

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