UNDP partnered with Generation Unlimited to organise a side event at the 4th African Youth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 9-11, 2022. Gen-U is a consortium of UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, UNFPA, and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Labour and Skills.
The 4th African Youth SDG Summit was organized under the theme ‘Youth Resilience in Covid-19 era; Pathways to accelerate actions towards achieving SDGs’ to create awareness and promotes learning, seeking to empower African youth to engage in the implementation, monitoring and accountability systems on the SDGs. The summit also seeks to create a platform for all stakeholders to interact, network, exchange ideas and learn from a pan-African audience on the role of youth and women to accelerate actions to deliver the SDGs’ in the post Covid-19 era.
The UNDP/Gen-U side event focused on empowering young women-led organizations, helping them to connect, network, discuss and share their experiences as well as identify challenges faced by young women-led organizations and their pertinent solutions. The event focused on promoting the understanding that young women are not bystanders but creators of solutions.
The side event followed an informal World Cafe format, which helps participants explore issues by holding discussions in small table groups.
The African Youth SDG Summit was launched in 2017 by Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) with the support of UNDP Ghana, UNFPA Ghana and other local and international organizations.
Over 10,000 youth and other stakeholders have since attended the summit to deliberate on critical issues affecting the achievement of SDGs.
The summit promotes awareness of the SDGs and creates a platform to promote learning across the continent to ensure that youth contribute to achieving the goals. Gifted with innovation, imagination, energy and optimism, youth can be the key drivers of sustainable development at the local, national and global levels.
The summit helps youth to:
● Connect, network, and learn from a pan-African audience and contribute to an inspiring and constructive debate on the role of youth in the SDGs/
● Identify, award and encourage individuals and institutions whose initiatives are impacting the attainment of the SDGs.
● Identify and scale up about 10,000 youth-led SDG solutions by 2030 through the SDGs Innovation Challenge programme.
The summit focused on addressing the following SDGs thematic areas:
● Education and Digital Innovation.
● Gender, Human Rights and Youth.
● Youth Leadership, Accountability for Voluntary National Review of the SDGs.
● Good Health and Wellbeing of the Youth.
● Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Youth.
● Youth Innovation, Industrialization and Financing.