One of the main issues of The African Union Youth Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (12-14 Sept 2012) was to highlight the need for youth empowerment in Africa. This is a welcome development because youths make up the next generation of workers, parents, and leaders. Therefore, investing in them is top priority for the continent’s transformation. Currently, Africa is the most youthful continent in the world. At least 35 per cent of its more than one billion population is between the ages of 15 and 35.
The challenges of Africa’s youth can no longer be ignored. Youths have substantial energy and resilience, and the power to induce change. When educated, empowered and employed, there are gains on various levels. For instance, if they are equipped with the knowledge and experience, they can challenge the current health policies and improve the quality of health care in Africa. It has been proven that income affects one’s health status. Therefore, the goal is to reduce health disparities and produce a generation that can further enhance the current state of healthcare delivery in Africa.
At the end of the two-day Conference in Addis Abba, the African Union’s ministers in charge of youth assigned the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa to identify policy recommendations for African governments in order to adequately address the challenges of young people. It is gratifying that this is beginning to receive some attention among various policy makers on the continent. Ultimately, it should be the central focus of development strategy at the regional and national levels. This video portrays the challenges of Somalia’s youth today.