Come May 2016, The Africa Union Commission will be celebrating the ten years of adoption of the Africa Youth Charter.
The African Union Constitutive Act and the African Union Commission strategic plan 2004-2007 give due priority to youth development and empowerment. They underscore the importance of youth participation and involvement in the development of the continent. Indeed, Africa’s renaissance cannot be realized if adequate investment is not made in the youth who constitute about 40 percent of the African population. To give substance to this commitment to the development of African youth, the AU has since developed a policy framework in the form of the African Youth Charter, which prescribes responsibilities to Member States for the development of youth. The Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted this Charter at their Summit in Banjul in July 2006.
As a youth and community development agency, we have been a frontier in advocacy and the implementation of the Africa Youth Charter.
Here is an outline of our engagement in the implementation of the Africa Youth Charter.
Article 13 Education and Skills Development
Article 15: Sustainable Livelihoods and Youth Employment
- In 2014, we initiated a Quality Education for all (QUEFA) project. Through QUEFA, we have donated books, learning materials and library facilities for five rural schools in Ekiti and Oyo State Nigeria namely Owotoro Community Grammar School, Owotoro Community; Ofiki Grammar School, Ofiki; Abadina Nur/Pry School, Abadina Community; Anglican Grammar School, Total Garden Ibadan; Mary Immaculate High School, Ado-Ekiti.
- We have also held Career and Leadership Workshops for Secondary Schools students.
- Annual Five weeks Practical Youth Entrepreneurship Training on Fish farming in partnership with Multi Grace Farm, for the benefit of young people at the University of Ibadan (2014 and 2015)
- Digital Literacy Project for High School Student (Owotoro Community Grammar School).
Article 11: Youth Participation
- We have facilitated the participation of young people in key decision and policy making events such as:
- 2013 Commonwealth Youth Conference, South Africa. Report of Conference Participation submitted to Ekiti State Governor.
- 2013 The Nigeria Symposium for Young Emerging Leaders Summit hosted by Ekiti State Government. (Participation sponsored by BNI)
- 2013 Africa Youth Economic Forum organized by Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment Ghana and Ghana Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. (our delegate won the Award for Best presentation on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability). (Participation supported and mobilized by BNI)
- UN Major Group on Children and Youth Annual General Assembly; Colombo, Sri-Lanka (2014).
- United Nations World Conference on Youth, Colombo, Sri-Lanka (May 2014)
- 2015 Africa Youth Forum, World Bank Group-Young African Society, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. (May 2015). (Participation partly sponsored by BNI).
- 2015 Youth and Sustainable Development Summit, New York, USA (Sept. 2015). Organised by Sustainable Development Solution Network (Participation partly sponsored and supported by BNI.
- 2015 UN Major Group on Children and Youth General Assembly (Sept. 2015). (Participation partly sponsored and supported by BNI).
- United Nations Sustainable Development Summit New York, USA (event for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals). Participation partly sponsored and supported by BNI.
- Africa Internet Governance Forum; (2013, Durban South Africa). Hosted by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and World Information Society
- E-Waste to E-Wealth Conference, University of Ibadan (2013; Ibadan, Nigeria). Hosted by Fulbright Alumni Program and US Embassy Nigeria.
- We also participated in the Global Consultation for United Nations Post 2015 Development Agenda as an Organising partner.
- BNI is a member of Commonwealth Youth Council, United Nations Major Group on Children and Youth, Global Partners on Youth for UN Post 2015 Development Agenda and country organising partner for Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP).
- Our Executive Coordinator had served as a Country Representative for Commonwealth Students’ Association (2014-2015) and recently appointed as Africa Regional Representative for Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group.
- Olayinka Adebajo, General Secretary of BNI National Campus Secretariat at the University of Ibadan, recently got appointed as the Chairman of Council of Faculty Presidents, University of Ibadan.
- Osasona , a member of BNI, University of Ibadan Chapter got elected as the House Secretary, University of Ibadan Students’ Union
Article 16: Health
Article 25: Elimination of Harmful Social and
- In 2015, we introduce our New Hope Project which is a platform for humanitarian engagement of Better Nigeria Initiative. Through the project, we organized a Health Outreach to Agbowo Community on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August 2015. Over 200 residents of the Community benefited from the project.
- We have also used our Social Media channel to campaign for HIV Free society and also orientate the general public about epidemic diseases outbreak such as Ebola Virus and Lassa Virus.
- We are actively involved in the campaign against illicit drug use through our partnership with Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), University of Ibadan Chapter.
Article 17: Peace and Security
Article 22: Leisure, Recreation, Sportive and Cultural Activities
- As the Organising Partner for Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP), we served as the host organization for the 2016 International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) event as organized by CYSDP on April 6, 2016 at the University of Ibadan. A communiqué which advocate for Sport for Development and Peace practice was developed and approved by a representative of Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sport (CABOS).
- We have encouraged responsible leadership and lifelong learning among high school students through recreational sport.
- We are a frontier in advocating and promoting the use of Sport as a tool for encouraging development and peace across the border of religion, race, social class and ethnicity among young people. Through our Social Media Channel, we have advocated for Sport as a tool for Development and Peace (SDP).
- We have also facilitated the involvement of print and media organization in SDP Advocacy. Our Executive Director, featured on Channels TV and Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State on SDP Advocacy.
- As Organising Partner for CYSDP, on Monday 4th April 2016 we paid a SDP Advocacy visit to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and also the Youth Friendly Centre, University of Ibadan towards fostering partnership for SDP Workshops, Curriculum review and Initiative for young people.
Article 26: Responsibilities of Youth
- In Partnership with Commonwealth Students’ Association, we introduce Commonwealth Leadership and Citizenship Orientation Course (CLOC) as a way of encouraging responsible early leadership development and engagement of young people in the society.
- Through our Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) Project, we have been able to provide Leadership Excellence training to over 700 young people by reason of our Annual Leadership Summit (2011-2015) and Leadership Seminar for young people.
- We also have foster some community engagement partnership with faith base organization towards providing leadership excellence, citizenship and youth civic engagement training for young people.
Article 27: Popularization of the Charter
- Our Technical Adviser, Mr. Daniel Ajiroba, had an input to the Africa Youth Charter as a delegate at the
- At the 2013 Commonwealth Youth Conference South Africa, our Executive Coordinator, Pharm. John Oluwadero was a delegate, we advocated for the recognition of the Africa Youth Charter by AU member state.
- May 2013, we had an advocacy visit to the Executive Governor Ekiti State, Nigeria; as a way of seeking his commitment towards the adoption of the Africa Youth Charter as a Model for youth civic engagement in the State.
Article 23: Girls and Young Women
- Through our Quality Education for All Project (QUEFA), we have advocated for inclusive and equitable access of the girl child to quality education, lifelong learning and safety. This we have been able to achieve through our QUEFA Advocacy Outreach to Mary Immaculate Girls Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti, Owotoro Community Grammar School, Owotoro (with over 60% female child) and Ofiki Grammar School, Ofiki.
The popularization, recognition and implementation of the Africa Youth Charter among AU Member States is a responsibility that we are must fulfill as Africans.