The Africa-Europe Youth Meet-Up engages African, European and diaspora Youth at large to exchange knowledge, ideas and solutions towards tackling global issues, in preparation for the coming 5th Africa-Europe Youth Summit with all Youth stakeholders later this year.
This virtual gathering will be preceded by a Speak-Up! and followed by a Listen-Up! session.
23-30 June 2020
The AU-EU Youth Hub in partnership with UNICEF launched a public Youth Consultation to gather concrete ideas and solutions on 7 themes.
Thank you for all your answers. We received over 6000 replies and are excited by the huge response we received. Answers were reviewed and the 5 common requests were highlighted for each topic and used as a starting point to kick-off each panel.
You can find below the answers to the U-Report.
Official Speak-Up! Partners:
8-10 July 2020
With the next Summit of African and European Heads of States planned for 28-29 October 2020 – as well as the accompanying Youth Summit – it was paramount for Youth from both continents to be able to debate, interact, and weigh in.
Seeing Youth from both continents working together, joining hands to enable the piloting and scale-up of innovative approaches targeting both continents is a powerful message: be they from Africa or Europe, Youth have common challenges and common aspirations, and Youth have innovative solutions to bring to the table as owners of their own development.
During a series of online panels our young experts discussed the results of UNICEF’s public Youth Consultation with oustanding speakers.
Opening Ceremony / Focus on Climate:
Wednesday 8 July 12:30 – 1:30 PM (CET)
BUSINESS, JOB CREATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
How can business of tomorrow be catalysts for new fairer societies in Africa and Europe?
The COVID 19 pandemic has severely impacted education systems globally.
- Before the covid-19 pandemic, business was shifting globally, with a greater focus on environmental social good and sustainability
- The pandemic is likely to cause severe economic disruption that will widen the socioeconomic gap globally
- While providing unique challenges to businesses, the pandemic also provides businesses with an opportunity to fast-track this shift to sustainability, increasing the importance of youth’s responsibility, and a renewed intentional focus on socio-economic inclusion in creating fairer societies
- For Africa it can be the chance to foster its manufacturing and production sector and create innovative local-focused solutions (M-Pesa, etc…). For Europe it is a unique opportunity to accelerate the green new deal.
To bring together European & African Youth, and meaningfully engage them through an enriching conversation on how business of tomorrow can be a catalyst for fairer society:
- The extent of the current challenges that businesses face in Africa and in Europe
- What immediate steps should be taken by business leaders?
- Is there a difference in approach that should be taken by startups as opposed to larger public corporations? And, how will they ensure accountability?
- How can agribusiness and renewable energy industries be fast-tracked as a result of this pandemic? Which incentives will be put into place to reduce the financing gap in those sectors?
- How can youth step up to have greater influence in this period?
- How can African and European businesses learn from each other and work together?
Friday 10 July 1:30 – 2:30 PM (CET)
EDUCATION & SKILLS
Education Reimagined: How to ensure quality and inclusion in the digital transition post COVID-19?
The COVID 19 pandemic has severely impacted education systems globally.
While we work on reimagining how our education systems could look like in the future, we should consider a unique set of challenges to overcome:1) the current situation when school closures affect 70% of the world’s school population, representing 1.5 billion learners globally.
2) the challenge of transition from face to face to distance education while ensuring inclusion, equity and quality, and
3) the call of the times to be bold enough to invest in the “next education” system, an education that helps meet social and economic challenges common to Africa and Europe.
The panel will facilitate an intercontinental dialogue, with a focus on technology/digitalization and inclusion, transitioning from the impact of COVID-19 on education in Africa and Europe, in particular in
rural areas and for vulnerable groups. More specifically, it will:
- Facilitate the sharing of experiences of youth and other education stakeholders in bridging the digital divide during the pandemic, what the outcomes have been and how we can use these lessons to propel ourselves forward. This will help amplify and harness innovations and best practices developed on both continents during the pandemic;
- Address how to transform the education system to respond to COVID-19 and the
challenges of the 21st century, to be more resilient, to leave no one behind and reach the most marginalized;
- Discuss how to sustain cross-sector coalitions so that our education systems overcome the different challenges;
- Look at what the education sector should expect from technology, not just so its individual stakeholders are better prepared for an uncertain future, but also so that its networks become more agile, resilient and accessible to all.
Friday 10 July 12:00 – 1:00 PM (CET)
ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
In the wake of Covid-19, what form of government intervention do we need to reach the Paris Agreement targets?
With devastating effects impacting most sectors of the global economy, Covid-19 has quickly reversed long-established paradigms around government intervention to limit unemployment and social collapse. This unprecedented crisis comes in the middle of the climate emergency, a global threat likely to impact our societies at a far higher level than Covid-19. How can government and publicaction be framed to reduce our negative impact on the planet and reach the Paris Agreement targets? Both African and European states have vowed to act by signing the Agreement, and they are needed as a force to push the agenda globally.
The session’s goal is to put forward honest and direct questions to the panelists for them to debate and exchange ideas, possibly with questions taken from social media in real time. The vibe of the panel should be “no frills” or “hard talk”.
Overall, we see this panel session as a frank discussion on burning topics regarding climate action and government intervention (Can states bail out high- emission companies with no strings attached? What role can the EU and the AU play?). Panelists should be encouraged to use a simple language and not dive into policy details to engage a youth audience.
Wednesday 8 July 2:00 – 3:00 PM (CET)
How does technology better promote youth economic, social, and cultural rights in Africa and Europe?
(1) Demonstrate how essential technology is to both the rights and economic development agendas and in fighting inter- and intraregional inequalities.
(2) Underline the contribution of the AU-EU Youth Hub and its nascent Digital Cluster to this end.
(3) Foster the role of youth in augmenting both digital inclusivity as well as infrastructures to reach those most left behind. Given the diversity of panellists, the panel structure is designed to be for quick exchanges and practical recommendations and not for long-wielding discussions about philosophical differences e.g. on values or rights. It is to be assumed that the audience may not be tech-savvy, and therefore language used in the panel will be accessible, simple, and avoid sophisticated aspects of ICT.
Thursday 9 July 12:00 – 1:00 PM (CET)
GOVERNANCE & POLITICAL INCLUSION
Community-driven accountability initiatives: How can youth influence decision-making and spending in Africa and Europe and hold leaders accountable?
While most of the world is currently busy battling the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many young people are continuing to demonstrate their leadership in various ways in their local communities. The governance panel will showcase four inspirational young people from Europe and Africa, who have taken different approaches to creating change and influencing decision-making at various levels. This session aims to understand existing challenges for youth inclusion, participation and influence, as well as inspire and generate practical actions that young people anywhere can take to get involved in decision-making and social accountability.
● To draw out specific, practical lessons from ongoing or past community-driven initiatives that demonstrate active youth participation and influence in decision making;
● Demonstrate a variety of approaches to youth activism and creating change.
Wednesday 08 July 3:30 – 4:30 PM (CET)
PEACE & SECURITY
How can youth build peace and prevent violent extremism and exclusion in a post-COVID context?
The COVID-19 outbreak is exposing the deeply rooted social inequalities in our societies, across Europe and Africa. Social and health inequalities have exposed many people to risks during the pandemic, leading to further marginalization and threatening peaceful co-existence and stability in a number of countries. In addition, post-conflict settings have been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19 due to the lack of strong institutions and public services. While national governments and multilateral organisations seek to address the immediate consequences of this global pandemic, this historical moment represents an opportunity to think together of innovative ways to address the socio-economic inequalities driving marginalisation, exclusion and instability during these exceptional times. The future after COVID-19 will be the ‘new normal’, in which the role of young people will be critical to building peace and preventing violence with mutual respect and decreasing mass inequalities. In light of this new context, the panel will bring together a number of EU and AU Officials together with young activists to address the topic.
Thursday 9 July 1:30 – 2:30 PM (CET)
CULTURE, SPORTS & ARTS
Cultural Experience in a Time of Lockdown: How Can Co-creation be Enhanced between African and European Youth Post COVID-19?
The prevailing COVID-19 virus pandemic has forced the world into a peculiar situation the like of which modern history may not have experienced before. This panel will build on the implications of the background of:
1) how changes we are now living will reconfigure how we experience culture, including through digital platforms, and the role that culture and art have played
2) how culture, arts, and sports agents have participated in global efforts of response, mitigation or adaption to the COVID-19 crisis
The panel will focus on:
1) how African and European youth can co-produce cultural materials
2) how to enhance this co-productive effort between young creatives from both continents post COVID-19. It will do so by highlighting:
a) Current experiences in the culture, arts, and sports space involving AU and EU youth together
b) How art consumption has become a strong source of hope and a coping measure as people increasingly recourse to art to alleviate the pressure of this period
c) The common challenges inhibiting a widespread inclusion of actors within the co-productive spaces of AU and EU youths (reflecting on the evolution of the sector and continental links)
d) Solutions to challenges of intercontinental mobility, fundraising, credibility of young people (emerging professionals) in the international markets.
e) the solutions and best action plans that will enhance co-productive efforts of young AU and EU creatives post COVID-19.