AFRICITIES SUMMIT 8
UN-HABITAT Youth and Livelihood Unit organized a Stakeholders Session at Africities Summit in Marrakesh, Morocco on November 21, 2018. The session brought city youth councils representatives, city councilors, young mayors, NGO and governmental organization representatives to discuss the youth participation to the local governments, city councils, and the potential role, responsibilities and contributions of the local youth organizations (city and municipal youth councils) to find the best strategies to improve the living conditions of the African young people and children with a particular consideration on the following groups:
Youth in the slums
Young women from disadvantaged communities.
The session started with the opening remarks of the Mayor Mhlongo from South Africa. The Mayor has emphasized that engaging youth is a win-win – which gives him as a mayor an understanding of local issues and access to the local level that he could not otherwise have.
Deputy Mayor of Asilah mentioned in his speech that they have established the first youth council and children’s club in Morocco. He emphasized the significance of children’s club which shows the importance of starting to engage youth at a very young age.
Ms. Lamia Bazir, Executive Director of National Observatory for Children’s Rights Morocco, introduced the national children committee where 395 children under 18 are elected to represent their municipality for 2 years. The Programme helps highlight the specificities of each area and region and breaks barriers and obstacles to youth participation in an early age.
Ahmet Soguktas of UN-Habitat Youth and Livelihood Unit has shared the progress on the World Urban Youth Councils Network, a UN-Habitat Youth Initiative. Zeynep Agirbas from Istanbul Youth Council, Turkey, Astrid Nadya Rizqita of National Youth Council of Indonesia, and Mylenna Souza Lirio of Sao Paulo Youth Council in Brazil brought various implementations of the local youth participation and governance from their countries and regions.
Wambui Kahara, Kenya Youth Representative to the United Nations shared with the audience that Africa is the worlds youngest continent and in Nairobi, 60% of the residents are living in informal settlements. She underlined the poor access to education and health services. As a solution, she shared that the key point is partnership including work with government, civil society, public-private partnerships and also their experiences in Nairobi.