Youth as a Resource for Africa Development and Regional Integration

Dr. Tuesday Gichuki

Name Dr. Tuesday Gichuki
Country Kenya
Organization Executive Director, Africa Peace Service Corps
COMENSA Youth Programme Coordinator

Dr. Tuesday Gichuki is Executive Director of Africa Peace Service Corps, a Pan African Youth Volunteer and Service Network registered in Kenya as a Charitable Trust. He is also the Coordinator in the development and implementation of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Youth Program, covering 26 countries in Africa.

Dr Gichuki is IAVE National Representative for Kenya, and also serves on the IAVE Elections Committee and the Global Network of National Volunteer Centres. He has also served as Executive Director at national Volunteer Network Trust (NAVNET).

Dr Gichuki has been a Speaker at IAVE World Conference, London 2012, Points of Light Annual Volunteer Conference 2013 and chaired the Africa Roundtable Breakfast in Washington DC and IAVE World Conference, Gold Coast, Australia 2014. He also organized a roundtable conference in Abuja Nigeria in November 2013 involving 20 African countries as well as regional and international organizations where the Africa Peace Service Corps was officially launched.


Youth as a Resource for Africa Development and Regional Integration

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is the largest Regional Economic Community in Africa, comprising 19 Member States. The overall goal of COMESA is to promote sustainable economic and social development through regional economic integration.

In 1995, the UN General Assembly adopted the “World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and beyond” (WPAY). The African Union adopted the African Youth Charter in 2006, which sets the agenda for youth empowerment and development policies, programmes, and actions in Africa[1].

In response to this, COMESA has established the COMESA Youth Programme to serve  as a mechanism for the promotion of youth in all sectors of development, as well as contribute  to political and social stability.

The key areas addressed by the Youth Programme are:
i. Enhancing youth participation in national socio-economic development and regional integration through volunteerism and cultural exchanges;
ii. Stimulating the expansion of decent and productive work opportunities for youth in the private sector;
iii. Developing and supporting youth entrepreneurship through capacity building, linkages to finances and linkages to markets;
iv. Enhancing education and training for greater youth employability.
v. Deepening the knowledge base on youth empowerment and development through research, knowledge sharing, and documentation;
vi. Accelerated implementation of the African Youth Charter and the UN World Programme of Action for Youth

Depending upon future needs and identified resources, additional intervention areas may be included. Moreover, COMESA will work with external partners to complement its own activities where needed.,This paper explores the theoretical underpinning of this program and practical steps being undertaken to implement it, as well as the opportunities and challenges presented in undertaking a regional youth program covering 26 countries.


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