Deaths of young people in Africa a cause for concern

Ms Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Youth, has expressed concern at the deaths of young lives – the future of the continent of Africa.

Mpemba addressed the United Nations High Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies hosted by the Secretary General H.E. Antonio Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York under the theme “Addressing Terrorism through Reinvigorated Multilateralism and Institutional Cooperation.”

Representing the African voice in the civil society & youth segment at the conference, Mpemba, during the session of the multi-stakeholder engagement in countering terrorism shared the platform with Mr Eelco Kessels, Executive Director, Global Centre on Cooperative Security, where the duo focused the discussions on ensuring compliance with human rights and the rule of law.

Mpemba bemoaned the continued death of young people at the hand of terrorists.

“Just 2 days ago, we woke up to the horror attacks and the brutal murder of more than 40 young people by rebels at a school in western Uganda, where several of these students were badly injured while others were abducted.

“Our young people are suffering this plight in multiple occasions of extremism, and it is clear that terrorist acts will not wait for us to conduct such conferences.”

With a range of 60-70% of Africa’s population being young people, and a global tally of 1.2 billion people being young, young people are compounded by humanitarian challenges making them at higher exposure to terrorism.

“In northen Mozambique, the Islamist insurgency gained traction due to its promise of basic commodities and employment in the communities.

“While it is critical to engage the young people, we must also address their critical roles in preventive measures, as it is critical to revisit the topic of young people’s contributions to continental and global development goals, such as the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index, about 50% of all deaths attributed to terrorism globally in 2021 were recorded in Africa.


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