The 8th Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organisations in the framework of the 4th African University on Youth and Development took place in Mindelo, São Vicente- Cape Verde from 13-20th July 2012. GYG was represented by Rose Wachuka and Sarah Benke who are both members of the GYG Steering Committee representing Africa and Europe. The Federation of Young European Greens was also represented by Razvan Sandru.

The main focus of the Training course was Youth Rights and the Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation. This Training Course allowed the participants to understand the concept of youth rights and to engage in a debate about the definitions, the application, legislation and different application of youth rights in African and European jurisdictions. It allowed the participants to find practical solutions towards ensuring that Youth Rights should not only be protected but that young people ought to understand and be able to claim these rights. The Youth Rights discussion round-table was held at the University of Mindelo and facilitated by panelists from the African Union Commission, the United Nations, the European Youth Forum and the North South Centre for the Council of Europe.

The importance of this training for GYG is that it allows GYG through its representatives to engage other young people on the International Youth Platform. To be able to understand the concept of the Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation in order to facilitate the cooperation between the Federation of Young African Greens and the Federation of Young European Greens, to strengthen GYG’s political participation in the Euro-African Cooperation and to also be in a position to identify opportunities to engage Young Greens living in the Diaspora in various Working Groups or trainings. Overall, the cultural and continental exchange was an amazing experience and Rose, Sarah and Razvan will do their best to lead a GYG team in find common areas of cooperation using the lessons learnt at this training course.

Workshop Highlights

The Training Course had an amazing array of workshops prepared by the Participants and related to the Africa-Europe Youth Co-operation. The Participants explored the role of the cooperation in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. This is an area that the GYG working group on the eradication of poverty could focus on and see the ways in which young people from Africa and Europe can cooperate to produce a favourable report card come the year 2015..and beyond.

Another key area of interest would be the participation of the Federation of Young African Greens in the African Youth Platform and representation in the Network of International Youth Organisations in Africa so as to allow young African Greens to participate politically in collaboration with other youth organisations in the African youth agenda in the context of the African Youth Charter.

The participants also delved into the priority areas of the Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation, addressing mobility, migration and inter-cultural dialogue, achieving the Millennium  Development Goals, managing climate change and Sustainable development, our common fight for decent work and employment, good governance and democracy and more importantly the continued follow up and evaluation of the Tripoli Declaration.

The closing of the University was graced by the Honourable Minister for Culture, Hon Mario Lucio Sousa who in an inspiring closing address emphasised on cooperation and cultural exchange. The symbolic accommodation by the beautiful African State of Cape Verde of over 100 young people from all over the world should send a message to other countries to open up their borders to allow beneficial cultural and educational interaction for in these interactions flows the making of great statesmen and women. Young people equipped with cultural diversity and the skills to lead not just their countries but the world.

Global Young Greens would like to send a message to the 13th University on Youth and Development which will be held in Mollina Spain from 16-23 September 2012; many young people do not understand that they have specific rights. These rights, often referred to as Youth Rights include the right of access to employment, of access to relevant education and training, the right to have opportunities to associate, be represented in political, social, economic and other spheres of life, to protection from harmful cultural practices and exploitation, to equality, to be treated with dignity and to autonomy. There is therefore need to ensure that we (Young People) empower each other and empower ourselves to assert and claim these rights. To understand these rights and more importantly, to meet our obligations to ourselves, to others and to future generations.

More information regarding the Africa-Europe co-operation, updates on opportunities and other related documents can be accessed at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/Youth_en.asp

For more information regarding this training course, kindly write to Rose Wachuka (rose@globalyounggreens.org) or Sarah Benke (Sarahb@globalyounggreens.org)

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