The African Union on Tuesday celebrated International Youth Day which is marked on August 12th each year with the African Union Commission hosting a special gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The program was the first of the continental body’s two-day commemorations.
With African youth taking seriously to information and communication technologies, social media activities were also used to mark the day held under this year’s theme “Youth Civic Engagement.”
Tuesday’s program called “Youth Corner,” brought together youth from all over the continent in Addis Ababa for a discussion on civic engagement.
African Union Youth officer, Daniel Adugna, said the discussion was both inspiring and moving for the young people that participated.
“Civic engagement has been an interesting topic, probably one of the most interesting topics for most young people on the continent.”
He said the aim of the discussion was to understand what civic engagement means today to young people, in the 21st century, and then to understand the challenges youth perceive and then link the two to find solutions to over the challenges.
On Wednesday the commission will host a Twitter “Tweet Chat” between African Union Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and youths around the world, joining the international community in marking International Youth Day.
Young people can follow the chat using the hashtag #youthdayAU or #youthday, which will also coincide with the United Nations “International Youth Day Digital Surge!”
The digital surge is a day-long global Twitter take over to mark Youth Day and celebrate youth civic-engagement.
Young people can share their stories, feature reports on youth civic and public participation and share ways for others to get involved using the hashtag #youthday or #youthnow.
YOUTH DAY THEME
International Youth Day focuses on issues affecting youth the world over and this year under the theme of “Civic Engagement”, it is meant to move and open dialogue and opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially in the countries.
According to the United Nations, the theme is pushing engagement and participation of youth, which is essential to achieve sustainable human development.
In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.