The five day meeting of the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture, Sports commenced today with the experts meeting at the African Union Commission (AUC) under the theme “African Year of Human Rights: “Promoting Ethics and Cultural Diversity as an Essential Right for the people of Africa” The theme of the STC-YCS2 is in line with the overall theme of the Union for 2016 which is: “African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.”
The purpose of the STC-YCS2 is to provide a common platform for Ministers of Youth, Culture and Sport and Senior Officials to review progress on the implementation of decisions of the STC-YCS1 and to deliberate on the theme of the conference as well as on specific issues pertaining to the three (3) sectors. The STC –YCS2 will also enhance the establishment of synergies between the three sectors as highlighted in the first STCYCS1 which was held under the theme: “Building the Interface between Youth, Culture and Sport”
During the opening ceremony, Director of the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission Dr. Olawale Maiyegun expressed his sincere gratitude to the delegates and partners for participating at this very important meeting. He added that the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport is being held a month after the celebration marking the 10th Anniversary of the African Union Youth Charter (the Banjul+10) and was an opportunity to advance the agenda for youth empowerment and development in all member states by ensuring mutual accountability on the obligations of African Youth Charter and re-affirming commitments in the Decade of Youth 2009 – 2018 and its Plan of Action.
Director Olawale Maiyegun underscored that the Youth development policy at the continental level has rapidly evolved since the adoption of the African Youth Charter, which to date remains the premier continental youth policy document. On Culture, the African Union Agenda 2063 being a framework for Africa’s development for the next fifty (50) years presents itself as a crucial source to guide and inform initiatives by Member States to provide their contribution from the culture and heritage sectors to the sustainable development of the Continent. Aspiration five (05) of the AU Agenda 2063 addresses cultural issues and it states: “ An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics; inculcating the spirit of Pan-Africanism; tapping Africa’s rich heritage and culture to ensure that the creative arts are major contributors to Africa’s growth and transformation.
He further reinstated that the AU Policy Framework for the Sustainable Development of Sport in Africa (2008-2018) is an instrument designed to provide a common policy on the use of sport as a tool for development by Member States. In an effort to implement the Policy Framework for the Sustainable Development of Sport in Africa the Member States adopted the new Architecture for Sport in Africa, a framework aimed at re-positioning sport to contribute to the broader government and African Union development agenda.
The 2nd Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport will provide an opportunity to consider efforts made by the Commission to engage member states in the hosting of the 2019 and 2023 African Games and endorse the offer by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to host 2019 African Games. This is an opportunity for the Senior Officials to review progress on the implementation of decisions of the STC-YCS1 and to deliberate on the theme of the conference as well as on specific issues pertaining to Youth, Culture and Sport.
Speaking at the meeting Representative of Outgoing chair of Youth Ngournde Blaise stated that on behalf of the Congolese Delegation he expresses the honor to chair the STC at this 2nd STC. He elaborated that prospective reflection is required which is the promotion of the people of Africa and it is crucial with regards to the ambition of Africa. He added that the federating elements Culture and Sport the two elements of the theme to build on Africa. He further wished for fruitful elaborations and hoped for success.