STATEMENT BY NAYD
African Youth Day is marked every 1st November. The Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) as an organization that brings young people together for sustainable development wishes to recognize the importance of this day in shaping the present and indeed the future of Africa. Further NAYD appreciates the efforts of the African Union in putting forward the agenda of the youth and putting efforts in including the youth in formulation of this agenda.
As per the theme of the African Youth Day this year, Delivering on the Potential of Africa's Young Women, NAYD stands for a society that is all inclusive and which allows young people regardless of their gender to thrive and use their potential to engage in community projects that fosters development in Africa. NAYD calls for all the organizations working in Africa to recognize and put in place measures that will foster an environment that allows young people to work without gender-based or other forms of discrimination.
It is indeed a timely theme with the Chibok Girls still being held hostage. It is sad that we seek to deliver, invest and let the potential of the young African woman thrive yet there are groups that continue to hinder and render useless the efforts that development actors are making. NAYD, among other organizations and individuals, has been vocal in calling out for the release of these girls. This is not the time to forget them and definitely not the time to 'move on'. By silence we are setting precedents upon which (near)future actions will be based. As such NAYD calls upon the AU, the Nigerian Government and the International Community to take more action and #BringBackOurGirls.
As the year turns for the African Youth, NAYD reaffirms its commitment to the realization of the UN led MDGs and the Post-2015 based SDGs to see that Africa realizes it's full potential, that people still living in abject poverty escape the poverty trap, that the activities driving development take place within the planetary limits with minimal strain on the environment and that Africa gains a standing in the global village which is not Aid-based rather of a mutual exchange with other countries. NAYD contributes to these efforts in different ways one of which is by taking the development agenda offline to the community through Country Coordinators(CCs). They are charged with the task of connecting and availing relevant information to all the youth-led CBOs and NGOs working at the community level in different projects to bring development.
It is no coincidence then that the elections of NAYD 's Country Officers for the next 2 years kicks off today, the 1st of November, the same day we celebrate the young African person. NAYD hopes to partner with vibrant organizations to reach the people at the grassroots because until everybody is part of the change then change will not have enough momentum to drive Africa from a 'developing' continent to a self sustaining continent.
Finally, NAYD calls upon the AU and the African governments to show more inclusive approach by including the youth in policy formulation and implementation. The African youth has spoken and said 'Nothing about us without us' The time to call the African youth to the drawing table is now. Further NAYD calls upon the youth to be proactive, to seek to address the challenges in their community, to build local, regional and international networks that will create channels for a ripple effect that will galvanize development projects in Africa.