Commonwealth Regional Youth Caucus (RCY) - Africa Region Capacity Building workshop held in Lusaka, Zambia
Friday, February 29, 2008
The Regional Youth Caucus initiative was born out of a desire to promote, support and represent young people at all levels of decision-making (national and international), including a seat for the Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus Chair and a voice at the ministerial table when youth ministers come together for their periodic meetings within the commonwealth member countries.
As a result of this, the 2003 Commonwealth Youth Ministers meeting in Gaborone, Bostwana with the theme "Young people: Development partners against poverty and HIV/AIDs", noted the importance of government incorporating into national policies, the institutional frameworks that embrace youth participation, youth enterprise development and the provision of resources for strengthening youth governance and networks.
To further strengthen these initiatives, the Commonwealth Youth Programme Regional Centre for Africa under the Commonwealth Secretariat has periodically provided skills building opportunities to young people through training, internships, election monitoring and participation.
In view of this, the RYC capacity building initiative is paramount to effectively enable all country representatives effectively execute their mandates during their terms of office.
It is in view of the above, that Baboucarr Camara, the Commonwealth regional youth caucus representative for Gambia, joined colleagues of the 21 member countries of the Africa region, at a four day capacity building programme which was held from 13th - 16th February, 2008 at the commonwealth regional youth programme centre's Technology Empowerment centre at the University of Zambia in Lusaka Zambia.
The workshop also gave opportunity to RYC members with an up-to-date knowledge on thirteen thematic areas: Understanding CYP's Development agenda; Effective Communication; RYC planned activities; youth parliaments; RYC peer support; effective networking strategies to sustainable advocacy and lobbying; professionalisation of youth work; national youth councils; an advocacy toolkit in addressing youth issues in HIV/AIDs; RYC innovative initiative; the role of ICT in promoting youth development; strategic planning and the 'The environment, our future'.
Such a rewarding capacity building programme requires effective understanding of the interlink ages that exist between polices and governance structures.
However, Baboucarr Camara, the RYC member will stay for a period of four extra days at the Commonwealth secretariat in Lusaka to tap and share best practices.
On return, it is anticipated that the commonwealth youth office will be established to enable Mr Camara the RYC member embark on his planned activities for the next two years, through the support of the Gambia government - development of state for youth and sports among other invaluable stakeholders.