90 AU youth volunteers graduate in civic education

One of the graduate volunteers pause for a photo with Minister for Youth Rosemary Mbabazi (L) and Sarah Agboh, the AU Commissioner Human Resources, Science and Technology. / Nadege Imbabazi

With the right mindset of sacrifice, unity and hard work, Africa will certainly achieve its Agenda 2063.

This was the message to some 87 youth volunteers who graduated in civic education at the just concluded YouthConnekt summit in Kigali following a two week long training.

Agenda 2063 is Africa’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on the continent’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

Speaking at the graduation of the 9th Batch of AU Youth Volunteers, in Kigali, Prof. Sarah Agboh, the AU Commissioner Human Resources, Science and Technology said that the continent believes the African Union vision won’t be realised without full participation of the young people. 

“We believe so much that in Agenda 2063 and that our youth can be a positive factor in achieving this vision if we make them competent and skilled. We believe that the transformation of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa we want can be achieved through youth volunteerism as the vehicle.” Agboh added.

Rosemary Mbabazi, Youth Minister urged the young volunteers to seize the moment and not to wait until they are older. 

“We have no doubt that the future is now.  You want Africa to have a great future, start it now. Don’t wait tomorrow,” Mbabazi told the youth.

She added: “I want to urge you not to wait for the pay. The pay might come or not but use your heart, your conscience. Follow your passion and let’s see impact in your communities.”

Hamda Mbog from Algeria said that the 9th AU cohort of volunteers, which was named ‘Agaciro”—loosely translated as dignity—was “fortunate” that the boot camp was held Rwanda because they were able to learn mostly about home grown solutions where communities join forces to find solution for a common problem.

“Rwanda, I believe is one of the superstars of the continent and it is a model of success and I would like to thank the Rwandan government and Rwanda people for the things that they have taught us.

The concept they live by and the values and goal they are trying to reach is really something to marvel on. I hope the rest of the continent would follow suit.

“We were able to see the application of political will blended with the social readiness for a culture of change.

Concepts like Umuganda (monthly community service) are one example of a home grown solution where the entire population of the country goes out with a common goal to make the country better. That’s the concept that the rest of us can learn from,” Hamda said.

The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps was established in 2010. It is a continental development programme that promotes youth volunteerism in Africa.

It recruits youth volunteers to work in all 54 countries across the African Union to with an aim to deepen the status of young people in Africa as key participants in the delivery of Africa's human development targets and goals.