On 22 January 2017, the Pre-Summit roundtable brought together young women and men from all over Africa including Ministers from African Union countries responsible for Gender Equality and Women’s Affairs, United Nations (UN) agencies and a number Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The themes for the Round-table were within a range of thematic areas such as Youth Perspective on Harnessing the Youth Demographic and Youth Radicalisation in Africa. It further reflected on the progress made on gender and women’s rights issues. The different panellist spoke on the current and future challenges regarding gender and human rights. The discussions also focused on efforts to integrate CSOs advocacy work on women’s rights.
In recognition of the role of today’s youth in shaping tomorrow’s agenda, a networking cocktail was hosted on the 23rd of January, on the last day of the GIMAC consultative meeting. The cocktail was hosted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) with the support of United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and Training for Peace programme in Africa (TfP). The cocktail themed “Creating the Africa I Want” was a platform for young people to come together, network, learn from each other and mobilise on matters that concern them. The cocktail event also provided a safe space for the youth participants of GIMAC to address the intersectionality of human rights within a range of thematic areas such as Technology, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and a host other areas.
Both these pre-summit events created an opportunity for increased collaboration, networking and partnership among civil society organizations to collectively engage with national, regional and international mechanisms that focus on youth issues and including advocacy on women’s rights issues.