World Bulletin/News Desk
Over 100 delegates from across Africa gathered in Johannesburg on Friday for the opening of the 4th Pan-African Youth Union congress (PYU), which aims to discuss issues that affect youth on the continent.
"It gives me great pleasure to address the fourth Congress of the Pan-African Youth Union," South African President Jacob Zuma told delegates at the opening of the two-day conference.
He said that the gathering was important because it gives the pan-African body the opportunity to reflect on matters of youth development across the continent.
"This task is important because we firmly believe in the African Union, that Africa’s greatest resource is its youthful population," he said.
The conference, held under the theme "Youth Moving Africa Forward" – aims to address issues that include peace and stability, education and skills development and the fight against HIV/AIDS among other issues.
Zuma said while many African countries have made good progress with regards to socio-economic development, the majority of African youth continue to face unemployment, underemployment and inadequate access to education, healthcare, housing and other social necessities.
"This situation is even more pronounced among youth in rural areas or the countryside," he said.
Zuma said the Pan-African Youth Union is therefore a necessary platform for an assertive youth voice to help galvanize the African youth to speak in unison on how they can access these services.
He said Africa achieved independence from colonialism but now it remains in an intensive struggle for economic emancipation and socio-economic development.
Zuma advised the youth to discuss and find innovative ways to ensure that African resources are optimally used for the benefit of all Africans.
"It is therefore incumbent upon the youth to forge unity amongst themselves and use their energy to ensure the total success of the Agenda 2063. You are the future of Africa. We look up to you to begin now building the Africa of the future," he said.
The South African president went on to advise the young delegates to remember that borders need not separate them from one another.
"You need to work together as youth from different countries and share experiences," Zuma said.
Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2014, 13:59