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Zimbabwe’s Chido Mpemba is the new AU Youth Ambassador

THE African Union (AU) has appointed Ms Chido Mpemba as its new Youth Envoy as part of my renewed commitment to amplify the voices of young people and broaden their participation in the development of the Continent.

She takes over the reigns from Tunisia’ Aya Chebbi whose term lapsed in February, becoming the first southern African to hold the most influential youth post on the continent.

“I’m excited that we are getting recognised, it wasn’t easy as part of my manifesto was to work with youth across Africa and diaspora so that even African Union charter is implemented across the continent and I’m proud of it hoping to fully implement it,” said Chido Mpemba.

In a statement, the AU Commission Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat said Ms. Chido Mpemba was selected following a rigorous recruitment process of hundreds of applicants.

“I am confident that, with her profound knowledge of issues affecting young people, and working in close collaboration with the relevant Departments of the Commission, she will contribute to the effective implementation of African Union youth policies and programs

“As we look ahead to the future of the continent, we must pause and look back at the past year to appreciate the unyielding resilience of Africa’s youth. This is why this year’s theme “Defining The Future Today: Youth-Led Solutions For Building The Africa We Want” is of great significance,” he said.

AU Commission Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulates Chido Mpemba

He further bemoaned the challenges that were brought about by the COVID-19 saying they had slowed down progress on numerous fronts.

“It is indisputable that the past year has posed tremendous challenges, more than ever before. COVID-19 brought with it many painful lessons and as the world navigated a global pandemic, young people are making strikes in contributing to our collect effort of building the Africa we want.

The African Union congratulates Chido Mpemba

“Innovations came to the fore and youth-led initiatives that focused on engagement became dominant. I am hopeful that the same resilience will prevail as Africa continues to grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and shape a better future of development and prosperity for all.”

He said this year’s commemorations of Africa Youth Day would allow the AU to reflect on the importance of a youth mobilization that is rooted in responsibility and accountability.

“It is imperative that mobilization be used to promulgate the youth agenda, and to come up with strategically sound and long-lasting solutions to the problems which plague the continent. The ongoing Institutional Reform process taking place at the African Union Commission places particular emphasis on our duties and responsibility to increase focus on women and youth.

“It is to this effect that the African Union Commission’s Division in charge of youth has been merged with the Women and Gender Divisions, bringing to the fore a new Directorate; the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate. This will allow for the formulation of targeted initiatives that address Agenda 2063’s sixth aspiration which calls for “An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of the African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children.”

In 2019 the Commission launched the 1 Million by 2021 Initiative, to provide 
opportunities for youth in the areas of Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship
and Engagement. 

“I am encouraged by the efforts made by relevant stakeholders, including Member States and partners to support the initiative and expand opportunities for Africa’s young people.

“As we draw the curtain on 2021, it will be imperative to note that the work does not stop here, we must recommit and recontextualize the initiative as we continue to create an environment in which young people can succeed.

“I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Commission, to express my gratitude and appreciation to the outgoing Envoy, Ms. Aya Chebbi along with: Ms. Petrider Paul; Ms. Monbolade Urhele Pamela; Ms. Metour Mouini Vanessa; Dr. Shakira Choonara; Ms. Aminetou Bilal; Mr. Simon Marot Toulong; Mr. Serigne Ndiaye; Mr. Nair Abakar and Mr. Dario Abdula Camal – all members of the Youth Advisory Council, for fulfilling their mandate with diligence and passion,” he said.

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