WALVIS BAY: The third southern African regional meeting of the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU) took place here on Friday.
The PYU is the apex body for national youth coordinating bodies and mechanisms in Africa and amongst other countries include Mali, Senegal, Namibia, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Sudan, Seychelles, Angola, Gabon, Eritrea and Libya.
The organisation was formerly known as the Pan-African Youth Movement (PYM) and was later transformed into the PYU at a congress held in Windhoek in 2003. It came into being after African heads of state in 1962 wanted to create a platform to rally African youth behind the cause of the African liberation.
The organisation’s structure consists of a congress, executive committee, secretariat, regional bodies and specialised committees, which are elected once every three years out of the 53 African member countries.
Speaking during the official opening of the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Utoni Nujoma indicated that he has no doubt that the leadership of the PYU is committed to shaping a world where all citizens can share not only resources, but also the promise that their natural right to peace, development and prosperity shall be promoted.
“The PYU must continue to strive for an international world order which is anchored on the principles of democratic governance, sovereign equality of states, independence of nations, mutual co-existence and multi-lateralism,” he said.
The minister went on to say that Namibia is “deeply committed” to the ideals of inclusive and integrated youth development.
Namibia as a proud and active player in the community of African nations has approved the African Youth Charter, further underpinning Government’s commitment to the development of the youth on the continent, he added.
Nujoma also explained that Namibia has in the last decade created a comprehensive framework for youth development, by not only having reviewed the national youth policy and adopting the African Youth Charter in 2007, but also by establishing by law the National Youth Service (NYS) in 2004 and the National Youth Council (NYC) in 2009.
“Both these statutory institutions have a unique mandate to organise, develop and instill the values of Pan African solidarity, patriotism and a development consciousness within our youths, amongst other tasks,” he said.
The objectives of the regional meeting included adopting a regional plan of action for the union for next two years, launching of the PYU website and the discussion of progress reports on PYU Southern Africa.