Success of the East African Youth Empowerment forum 2018

As part of celebrating the International Peace Day, every year Yearning Voices Foundation- YVF organizes a regional forum on peace and security. This year on 21st September 2018, the Yearning Voices Foundation – YVF in partnership with the Pan African Movement-PAM, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development-Conflict Early Warning Response Mechanism – IGAD-CEWARN with support from Global Youth Platform, Nigerian High Commission in Uganda, Kansanga Miracle Centre and the Ministry of Internal Affairs organized the 2nd East Africa Youth Empowerment Forum on Peace and security. The forum ran under the theme; “Youth as key actors in Peace and Security in Africa” on the 21st /09/ 2018 hosted at Kansanga Miracle Center in Kampala. The forum registered Three hundred sixty-five (365) participants from nine (9) countries namely: Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Nigeria, and South Africa. It was also attended by government officials from Uganda Police Force- UPF, Uganda People’s Defense Force-UPDF, Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Minister of State for Public Service Hon. David Karubanga who was the guest of honor representing Hon. Mululi Mukasa, Dr. Maggie Kigozi the Chairperson Crown beverages represented the Private sector. Ms. Bethlehem Abebe from Addis Ababa represented the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development – Conflict Early Warning Response Mechanism (IGAD/CEWARN). Different youth empowerment organizations were also represented at the forum as the forum also attracted many student’s leaders and officials from different academic institutions both within Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large. The Forum created a platform to interrogate and contribute to the conceptualization of the role of youth in the peace and development of their communities. It took a panel approach starting with a senior panel and a youth panel. The panelists presented views on how youth can contribute to development using the available spaces, shared best practices from different countries and what is being done by regional bodies. At the end of the Forum, youth identified the available spaces for participation and the need to unite as African Peace Ambassadors. Uniting as youth is key for networking, share best practices and contribute to the cross border peace concerns. They also agreed that this can be possible if we engage more stakeholders to support continuous engagements, set tangible targets so that when we meet in 2019 at the 3rd East Africa Youth Empowerment Forum we can be able to evaluate our progress in empowering youth on matters concerning peace and security in the region.

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