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Second Session of 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture, Sports

The five day meeting of the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture, Sports continued today with the second session of the ministers meeting at the African Union Commission (AUC) under the theme “African Year of Human Rights: “Promoting Ethics and Cultural Diversity as an Essential Right for the people of Africa” The theme of the STC-YCS2 is in line with the overall theme of the Union for 2016 which is: “African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.”   

In his opening remarks H.E. Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga commissioner of Human Resources Sciences and Technology (HRST) of the African Union Commission stated that this meeting coincides with day of African child and is a reminder of sad memories of atrocities and crimes committed against young people, who claimed for their rights in Soweto. He added that the June 17th 1974 massacre in Soweto, South Africa lost men and women committed by the Apartheid regime, such crimes should never happen again and youth must be protected. The recruitment of children in covert armies such as Boko Haram, abductions, early marriages prove that very much is left to be done.

H.E. Dr. Martial added that when children have their destinies stolen, they live in misery, starve and live in illiteracy and it is the worst barbarism of the era and against the vision of a prosperous Africa. He further stated that in African countries the majority of the population is made of children and young people and this is an opportunity and challenge because of lack of education and good quality training to promote necessary skills.

He further spoke of the development and professionalization of sports in Africa and stated that it is being made at a relatively slow base due to lack of infrastructure. He stressed that sports should be perceived as a professional career in its diverse disciplines. Furthermore, he added that sports has the ability of transformation in order to include the participation of girls and women to reduce gender inequality as well as improve physical, mental health and welfare. Moreover, growth of the sports industry has given a rise to a number of ethical considerations and this flourishing industry should not be destroyed. He added that member States should put together a framework for sustainable development in Africa as the Architecture of sports is designed in order to promote synergy and harmonization of programs of development of sports over the continent.

He further added that it is important to adopt culture and African tradition to modern technology in order to promote economic, social and political development. An individual and collective potential is based on common compensation and understanding of historical origins that give a feeling of existence. The enforcement of culture will enable the sector to hold its place and contribute significantly through its heritage and creative industries. He stressed that it is urgent to recognize the unique nature of culture and African potential and pull them in an attractive manner of using them to influence positively the life modes of other people. This will lead to better recognition and implications of the continent.

He elaborated that the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Youth, Culture, and Sports is a platform to enable the implementation of the decision in previous STC discussions on the theme of the conference as well as specific issues related to the sectors and stated that the creation of synergies should be favored amongst sectors of youth, culture and sport. This is the only way to achieve Agenda 2063 and accordingly the SDG’s.

In her opening remarks H.E. Desiree Doukaga chairperson of the Bureau of the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport asked for a moment of silence for the day of the African child and Soweto crimes. She stated that this year 2016, calls to mind the importaince given that ethics and cultural diversity are being brought out as a solution to the challenges of the development Africa is facing.

She added that bringing together the three sectors youth culture and sport should encourage bringing initiatives to have a concrete translation of a common vision. This approach will bring Africa together, whereby Africans should find solutions towards prosperity in the continent.

She reinstated that in the past much progress has been accomplished in the three sectors and it should be carried on without hesitation and concerning the development of youth, several instruments are a disposal to meet the challenges to consolidate the assets and future. She further eluded the African youth charter and other mechanisms such as the inter-generational dialogue in decision making processes and  stressed that it is time to urge all the member states to take full advantage and work for youth integration, into policies and strategies for development that have to do with youth culture, sport  and aiming in demographic dividends.

She further added that aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 commits the continent to carry on the construction of an Africa that has strong cultural identity, values, ethics and common heritage. For adopting the charter for the African culture renaissance, Africa has the means to attain its ambitions and it is up to member States to accelerate the implementation of this culture renaissance. She concluded that there is faith and hope that the member states will enable these aspirations to come to solutions. Let us work together for implementation of decisions that are to be made. The determination will help to build a vision and common destiny, on this note of hope opening the second session. She said

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).