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The Euro-African Dimension of the CoE/EU Youth Partnership

The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a framework created by the 2nd EU-Africa Heads of States Summit, and the Africa-Europe Youth Summit recognises youth as a key actor in development in Africa and in Europe. The strengthening of youth organisations and youth movements is critical for development in general and in particular for developing youth policies that will allow for sustainable co-operation among African and European youth.

Background

The Africa-Europe Youth Summit and its process of consultations, facilitated by the North-South Centre in 2007, was a crucial moment to strengthen the ties between young people in Africa and Europe and to increase their knowledge about the European Union and the African Union and their policies related to the living conditions of young people on the two continents.

As a follow-up of the Africa-Europe Youth Summit in 2007, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe has been developing and implementing a programme in partnership with key governmental and non-governmental actors in Africa and Europe, including the European Youth Forum and the African Youth Platforms such as the Pan African Youth Union, the African Union and the European Union.

In 2008, special efforts were made to identify common interests and priorities between the European Commission and the Council of Europe, particularly the North-South Centre in the field of Euro-African youth co-operation. This lead to the addition of a Euro-African dimension in 2009 and to the existing CoE/EU youth partnership, managed by the North-South Centre.

In November 2008, the North-South Centre and the European Commission (EuropeAid - DG AIDCO) signed a Joint Management Agreement for a period of three years (2009-2011) that aims at strengthening global education in the new Member States of the European Union and supporting Africa-Europe youth co-operation.

Moreover, as a follow up of the Africa-Europe Youth Summit and answering to the priorities of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, the Joint Management Agreement will:
     • promote the empowerment of Europe's and Africa's youth;
     • strengthen young people’s capacity to disseminate information and to get involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Joint Strategy;
     • facilitate moments of encounter and exchange between young Africans and Europeans;
     • help mapping the existing African youth networks.
  
Complementary to the Joint Management Agreement, a programme of Euro-African training activities and support measures has been implemented since 2009 in the framework of the Partnership on Youth between the Council of Europe and the European Union (DGEAC).

Activities under the Youth Partnership

I - Africa-Europe long term training course for youth trainers aiming at developing a pool of highly skilled youth workers/trainers (in total 30) that are capable to develop and run qualitative training activities on Africa Europe co-operation programmes and that will establish a series of co-operation training programmes between youth organisations in Africa and Europe. An international pedagogical team composed of 4-5 experts from Africa and Europe will lead the three phases course over a period of 10 months (1st  phase: training seminar in Africa, July 2009 (Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire); 2nd phase: project implementation from July -December 2009 and 3rd phase: evaluation seminar in Cape Verde, in 2010)

II - Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organisations aiming at capacity building of youth leaders, multipliers in youth organisations (in total 30) and to increase dialogue and understanding between young people in European and African countries. The course is centred in promoting and empowering youth participation in the implementation of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership. This course is been organised annually in partnership with the European Youth Forum, the Pan African Youth Union and other local partners. In May 2010, the 7th Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organisations took place in South Africa.

III - Training Course for Youth Organisations of the African Diaspora Living in Europe aims to strengthen the role of young people particularly youth leaders and youth workers from the African Diaspora active in youth organisations in the host societies or leading African Diaspora youth groups/movements and to empower and promote the capacity to organise, take action and foster their political participation in Euro African Co-operation and Global Youth Work. The Youth organisations and youth groups from the African Diaspora living in Europe are important actors for the Euro-African Youth Co-operation. The youth Diaspora was a key element in the process leading to the Africa Europe Youth Summit and the Summit itself - and politically the Diaspora is considered by the African Union as the 6th region of Africa and the 6th building block of the African Union. These groups are also important bridges for youth co-operation and represent for the hosting societies an immense richness in terms of human resources, intercultural opportunities and possibilities for relationship with the sending societies. Two Training courses of youth leaders have been developed, the first in December 2010, leading up to the creation of ADYNE (African Diaspora Youth Network Europe) and the second in July 2010, in the framework of the 2nd African University on Youth and Development, which was held in Cape Verde.

The Joint Management Agreement between the European Commission (DG AIDCO) and the North-South Centre includes activities of Policy development and Support to the youth dimension of Euro-African co-operation. The foreseen actions under this agreement are: 
     > Institutional follow-up meeting of the Africa-Europe Youth Summit and Monitoring Group on Africa-Europe Youth Work 
     > Sub-regional seminars (in the 5 sub regions of Africa) on youth policies and the African Youth Charter 
     > Mapping of Africa-Europe youth co-operation/work 
     > Seed funding for pilot youth exchanges

For additional information please contact:

Andreia Henriques
Programme Manager - Youth  Cooperation
North-South Centre - Council of Europe
Tel: +351 21 358 40 39, 
Fax: +351 21 358 40 72,

andreia.henriques@coe.int
www.nscentre.org

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