Kenya on Monday urged Africa to increase the role of youth in advancing peace, security and development.
Nadia Abdallah, chief administrative secretary of Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs said in Nairobi that engagement of youth in constructive processes keeps them preoccupied thus reducing their vulnerability to possible radicalization and recruitment into violent extremist groups.
“Young people are key agents for peace and security without whom, the success of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, African Union’s Agenda 2063 and governments’ development agendas are unachievable,” Abdallah said during the Common Market on Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) high-level ministerial conference on promoting the youth agenda in the East and Horn of Africa region.
Abdallah said that inclusion and participation of youth not only enhances their capacities but strengthens responses and is essential to lasting peace
She added that it is important that African governments contribute to advancing the continent’s peace and security agenda including providing policy and action-oriented recommendations to address barriers to youth’s participation.
Abdallah called for the nurturing of intergenerational co-leadership as well as the provision of opportunities that will enhance the role of youth.
She said it’s also crucial that young people, particularly those caught up in conflict, are supported.
“This will be key in amplifying voices of youth experiencing challenges at the grassroots and remain unheard despite various peace building efforts,” Abdallah observed.
She added that education, training and job opportunities for youth must be central to any development strategy.
“The risk of instability and violence could further increase if young people are deprived of quality education, stable employment and political voice.
Strengthening their capacities for constructive participation counters their vulnerability to elements that threaten peace and security,” Abdallah said. Enditem