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Youth, peace and security in Africa
Towards the development of National Action Plans
24 Nov 2020
Policy Brief

Over the past five years, Africa’s youth, peace and security (YPS) agenda has gained momentum owing to a string of efforts by the African Union (AU)1. Commitments to increase youth inclusion and participation in peace processes have predominantly occurred through key decisions by the organisation’s Peace and Security Council (AU PSC). Despite this progress, the effective implementation a successful YPS agenda remains a challenge, especially for AU member states. There is increased awareness that effective youth inclusion and participation cannot be achieved until key youth-targeted frameworks – developed by the AU and its regional economic communities/regional mechanisms (RECs/RMs) – are domesticated; in other words, incorporated by member states into national legislation. For the YPS agenda in Africa to succeed, a comprehensive mechanism is required; one that incorporates existing AU/RECs/RMsrelated frameworks, policies and guidelines into a broader strategy to mainstream youth in all peace and security initiatives. This is indeed the key approach and goal of the AU Continental Framework on YPS.2 The framework provides a normative guideline to advise member states and RECs/RMs in their YPS efforts. The AU, as pointed out to the AU PSC by the Chairperson’s Envoy on Youth, Ms Aya Chebbi, expects that the framework will, among others, guide the development of not only regional strategic plans, but also national action plans (NAPs) on YPS3.

Publication Information

Partner: ISS and AU Office
National action plans for youth, peace and security are essential for African Union (AU) member states to achieve their goal of Silencing the Guns. Their development requires a synergy with key normative frameworks from the AU, particularly, the Continental Framework on Youth, Peace and Security. They are also a tool to bolster maximum youth inclusion and participation in peace processes. This policy brief highlights the prerequisites for the successful drafting of national action plans that are in line with the needs of Africa’s youth demographic.
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