SADC bodies emphasize the significance of youth’s involvement in putting the planet first
The SADC Youth Forum (SAYoF) and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) emphasized the importance of involving youth in prioritizing the planet on International Youth Day.
The youth need a conducive policy and legal environment to thrive and become the best versions of themselves, the bodies highlighted.
“This is to recognise that the youth of Africa is ready to embrace the emerging challenges and opportunities that the region has to offer,” SADC-PF Secretary General Boemo Sekgoma said in an inaugural joint statement to partners.
She further noted that on this matter, they are mindful that Parliaments and policymakers must be at the forefront of reform initiatives to ensure that youth empowerment is mainstreamed at all levels, with appropriate investments made in education, apprenticeships, and the development of skills that can improve youth performance and productivity in the long run.
“Only the youth can deliver on the promise of an Africa that is a powerhouse of ingenuity and skilled labour. In the 21st century, the youth must be especially aware of the need for the world to effect a clean energy transition to limit the worsening of global warming and climate change disasters that arise from it,” Sekgoma noted.
Meanwhile, SAYoF Regional Coordinator Misheck Gondo stated, “In this vein, we fully associate ourselves with the UN theme to mark this day, which is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World,” which eloquently demonstrates the need for investment in youth upskilling through eco-friendliness, creation of green energy, bio-agriculture, climate change action, or carbon footprint reduction as part of a package of coherent youth-centred initiatives that intertwine with the Sustainable Agenda 2030.”
He emphasized that young people today require capacity building to understand that all developmental policies must be accompanied by incentives that prioritize the planet.
“Without the planet, we do not exist. And without the youth, we have no future. The active involvement by the youth in putting the planet first is thus imperative if we are to implement coveted regional Agendas such as the SADC Vision 2050 and Africa Agenda 2063,” they concluded.