African Diplomacy on multiple fronts
Addis Ababa, 9 March 2015
African Union (AU) Headquarters hosted on 5 March 2015 the opening session of the African Model United Nations International Youth Conference on the theme: “African Diplomacy on multiple fronts”
The event which brings together young university students from different African countries was organised by the Department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) of the African Union in collaboration with the African Model United Nations (Afro-MUN).
The purpose of the conference is to provide opportunity for upcoming youth leaders to deliberate on issues of fundamental importance to Africa and its future, through simulations of AU and UN meetings of Heads of State and Government. The event enables young people to understand high level decision making processes, and provides them an opportunity to explore concrete solutions to the overarching challenges that are manifesting on the continent.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Beatrice Njenga, Ag.Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology, AUC, underlined the importance of youth engagements particularly in the development agenda of the continent, owing to the fact that Africa is a youthful continent with about 65% of its total population below the age of 35
She noted that the African Union envisages an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its citizens, a vision that is further embodied in the AU Agenda 2063. This she underscored is an action plan for all African societies to work together in building the Africa we all want to see based on shared values and common destiny.
“Africa has come a long way in recognizing and embracing youth development and empowerment as a key driver in achieving Africa’s aspiration for unity, prosperity and peace” noted Dr, Njenga. She urged the emerging young diplomats to build their own capacity by familiarizing themselves with key continental common positions and programs, so that they can be effective in helping to mainstream Africa’s agenda in the international arena.”
Addressing the youths earlier, Dr. Tasew Woldehanna who was representing the Addis Ababa University, explained to the youth that this was a golden opportunity for all of them to gain skills to take on challenges in future.
Mr. Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner for Ernest and Young in Ethiopia encouraged the youth to be goal oriented and hard working. He called on the youth to recognize and make use of the fact that Africa today is offering much better opportunities for young people, and noted that many Africans in the Diaspora are willing now to return to Africa and contribute to its development.
Mr. Abiy Shimelis, Afro-MUN Secretary General on his part emphasized on the Afro-MUN’s efforts in highlighting issues pertinent to the African youth, citizens and its agenda. He expressed gratitude towards the African Union for hosting this year’s Afro-MUN conference which he said, plays an integral part in facilitating a platform for the young visionary leaders of the continent so that they can share their goals and aspirations.
Afro-MUN is a continental programme initiated by a group of youths, to produce young African diplomats and promote meaningful engagement of African youth in key development processes for achieving Africa’s collective vision of peace, integration and prosperity with technical support of the Commission.
African Union Commission