Introducing Members of the African Union Youth Reference Committee


Ms. Chido Mpemba, AU Youth Envoy. Illustration by BGC Agency

The African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 have recognized the crucial role of youth in shaping the future of Africa. In line with this recognition, the Office of the Youth Envoy, in partnership with the Austrian National Youth Council, has established the Africa Youth Reference Committee. This committee aims to ensure the active involvement of young people in the implementation of both agendas, making sure that their voices, aspirations, and needs are taken into account at all levels of decision-making.

After a rigorous selection process, twenty-five African youth representatives have been chosen from all five African Union regions, alongside fifteen European youth representatives. Over 2,000 applications were received from young change-makers across Africa and the diaspora, showcasing the immense interest and commitment of young people in championing development projects and addressing global inequalities.

PRESS RELEASES Youth Reference Committee: 25 African Youth Advocates selected to Strengthening global youth participation in the Implementation of Agenda 2063. Image from Office of the Youth Envoy at the African Union Commission

The selected African youth representatives who will serve on the Africa Youth Reference Committee are:

1. Albert Alexander Kure (Nigeria)
2. Alice Mukashyaka (Rwanda)
3. Amy Ochiel Ochieng (Kenya)
4. Dambisa Siphosethu Dube (South Africa)
5. Denise B. Dennis (Liberia)
6. Esias Bedingar (Chad)
7. Fitiavana Ramamisoa (Madagascar)
8. Hameda Abdulrasul Mendy (Sudan)
9. Hani Ahmed (Eritrea)
10. Imane Lakbachi (Morocco)
11. Isaac Bezabih (Ethiopia)
12. Joshua Leshan Kereto (Kenya)
13. Jovia Kisakye (Uganda)
14. Karen-Andréa Bedoume Nkoume (Cameroon)
15. Louise Kongolo Kanza (DRC Congo)
16. Marc Adem Tilley (Algeria)
17. Mohamed Osman (Somalia)
18. Moliehi Rethabile Mafantiri (Lesotho)
19. Neliaku Chimdindu (Nigeria)
20. Osvaldo Antonio Jose Joao (Angola)
21. Sylivia Mohamed Mkomwa (Tanzania)
22. Tinashe Simbarashe Nondo (Zimbabwe)
23. Tom Tonken Musonda (Zambia)
24. Yasmeen Fahmy (Egypt)
25. Ziadath Agnike Achimi (Benin)

Welcoming the successful applicants, Ms. Chido Mpemba, AU Youth Envoy, expressed her confidence in the selected candidates, stating, “The selection process was fiercely competitive, and we are thrilled to announce that the chosen candidates, representing diverse African voices, possess an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, experience, and unwavering passion. Their inclusion in the Committee will not only propel youth participation in development processes but also amplify the power of African voices in shaping a more equitable and inclusive future. We eagerly anticipate working alongside these exceptional young individuals to forge a future of shared progress, where African perspectives take center stage, and boundless opportunities are created for all.”

The Africa Youth Reference Committee is a youth-led initiative that aims to foster global youth dialogue and facilitate meaningful youth participation across various thematic areas. These areas include civic engagement, climate change, governance, peace and security, migration, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), capacity building, gender mainstreaming in digital technology, mental health and well-being, and sexual reproductive health rights.

Commencing on July 5, 2023, the Youth Reference Committee will begin its twelve-month mandate with a virtual session on the South-North Dialogue. Leveraging their experience and networks, the committee members will contribute to the identified thematic areas and propose activities that align with the realities of African youth both on the continent and in the diaspora. Furthermore, the committee will serve as an interactive mechanism and communication channel between the Office of the African Union Youth Envoy and the Austrian National Youth Council.

The establishment of this Youth Reference Committee is a significant step toward strengthening youth participation and reducing inequalities. The AU Youth Envoy and the Austrian National Youth Council’s joint efforts aim to empower young people and provide them with a platform to influence policies and initiatives that shape their future. Through their dedication and commitment, these youth representatives will contribute to developing a youth position paper and a global toolkit for meaningful youth engagement, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

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