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Regional Youth Consultations on African Union Project 2016 Commence

Under the theme, 'Promoting Young People's Rights Towards the Attainment of Agenda 2063', four regional youth consultations are being organized across Africa over the next six weeks. The consultations are part of preparatory activities for the Fifth Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa as well as the African Union's Project 2016 – the Year of Human Rights with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women. The African Governance Architecture (AGA), the African Union Commission Department of Political Affairs in collaboration with National Democratic Institute (NDI) are organizing these convening's.

The Regional Consultations were inaugurated with the West African Consultation that opened today in Accra, Ghana with participants drawn from thirteen countries across the region. The West African Consultation is the first of four consultations which will be followed by Southern African Consultations in Windhoek from 8-9 September, Eastern and Central African Consultations in Kampala from 22-23 September and North African Consultations in Tunis from 29-30 September 2016. The Regional Youth Consultations will bring together over 200 selected youth from across the five regions of Africa. Discussions are centered around four broad thematic areas; young women's rights; governance, peace, security and migration; inclusion, diversity management and popular participation; and employment and mobility.

The consultations provide a platform for aggregating youth concerns, insights and perspectives, building capacity as well as showcasing youth initiatives that advance human rights on the continent. The consultations also seek to create an avenue for interactions and exchanges between participants and AU Organs, Regional as well as National Human Rights Mechanisms towards the advancement of human and peoples' rights in Africa.

Overall, the consultations are expected to provide an opportunity for youths to provide input to the African Union's 10 Year Human Rights Strategy. The Strategy will be a guiding framework for collective action by the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and member states to strengthen the African human rights system and address the current challenges of the African human rights system.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).
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