“The African Union Commission (AUC) has always championed for the inclusion of youth living with disabilities in the workplace and in civic spaces. The AU Disability Inclusion Guideline for Youth Exchange serves as a working document to assist the AU and its organs in providing equal access to opportunities for all African youth” said Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, Head of Human Recourses, Science and Technology (HRST).
Taking into account the population of youth in Africa, it is imperative that organizations look into effective ways to ensure diversity and inclusivity for African youth. In advancing the opportunity providing initiative of the Chairperson of the AUC, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat’s 1 Million by 2021 initiative, the Inclusion Guidelines assure intentionality in making sure no young person is left behind.
The 1 Million by 2021 initiative seeks to create direct opportunities for one million young Africans in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement (the 4Es). The opportunities that are being provided in the areas of the 4Es of the 1 million by 2021 initiative are open to all African youth interested in being counted in.
The AU Disability Inclusion Guideline for Youth Exchange was developed in the frame of the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI) through a consultative process involving various actors and volunteers across the continent. The guideline was subsequently developed in collaboration with GIZ technical support to the AGYI program, Shikuku Obosi, which assisted with support from other individuals who participated in the user consultative workshop, reviewed drafts and provided input.
The AU Disability Inclusion Guideline for Youth Exchange aims to tackle systematic bottlenecks preventing youth living with disabilities from participating in exchange programs and youth volunteering programs that contribute to the 4Es of the abovementioned initiative. The AUC believes that the inclusion of African youth in education opportunities, skills trainings, and employment opportunities is an important component contributing towards the Africa we want.
Despite all the efforts that the AU has made to ensure inclusivity of disabled African youth in exchange and volunteering opportunities, the Commission notes there is still a lot of ground that needs to be covered. The Inclusion Guideline provides a thorough break down of the recruitment processes of disabled youth, the types of disabilities that exist, the benefits of having disability-inclusive exchange and volunteering programs, and the monitoring and evaluation processes of ensuring that these youth groups are included in opportunities even after their participation in prospects made available by organizations.
The guideline will be launched virtually from September. The AU Disability Guideline for Youth Exchange will be available to download as a resource on the 1 Million by 2021 website.
Source: African Union