Saturday 17 April 2021
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PYU: Youth leaders must mitigate youth challenges

The challenges facing African youth needs solutions from youth leaders for the betterment of the continent, the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU) has indicated.
PYU Deputy Secretary General, Ahmed Bening this week met the leadership of the National Youth Council where discussions centred around youth empowerment were held.
Bening is visiting national youth councils of PYU African member countries with the aim of building synergies. He also emphasized that despite the ongoing conflicting positions between the PYU and the African Union Commission, it is business as usual for the PYU.
“Young people are faced with numerous challenges that need our attention. It is our prerogative as youth leaders to mitigate these challenges to build an Africa that we want,” he motivated.
Last month the African Union Commission issued a statement denouncing the leadership of the PYU after contested elections at the PYU congress held in Khartoum, Sudan. “I have great respect for the African Union because that is our organisation and they have a moral obligation to guarantee that the rights of every citizen are protected.
However, I think that the African Union was hasty in drawing their conclusions because we never heard from the AU. We expected them to communicate with us because if somebody complains about you today, I cannot just make conclusions without listening to you. The first thing I do is to sit with you and engage you appropriately.
Hence the AU missed a golden opportunity to mediate internal conflict within the PYU” he shared. Bening also acknowledged that an impasse has been reached by both organizations, however he was optimistic that the PYU has supported its case with empirical evidence.
“It is up to the AU Commission to also proof their case empirically and not based on backdoor allegations” said Bening.
Bening further admitted that the PYU needs serious structural reform in terms of its constitution and project implementation mechanisms as well as capacity building. According to Bening, a challenge for the PYU over the years has been direct stakeholder engagement. This he says is important because the authority of the PYU comes from endorsements by member states.
“We expect the Namibian government to support us in this regard because the Namibian Youth Council is one of the most experienced youth councils on the continent and I am talking about the chairperson. He has been at the forefront of the Pan-African Youth Union for so many years. Hence the purpose of my visit is to solicit the support of Namibia, NYC and the experience of the executive chairperson to ensure that we can build a solid, formidable and more sustainable Union that represents the interests of young people on the continent” he added.
The National Youth Council of Namibia (NYC) commended the efforts of the PYU and expressed its willingness to listen and cooperate with the PYU to mitigate challenges faced by youth on the continent.
While PYU is of the opinion that the incumbent leadership was credibly elected, critics want the AUC to establish a Caretaker Committee that can help midwife a credible reform process that will allegedly culminate into the election of a credible leadership for the PYU.

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