SA ready for Pan-African Youth Union congress

NOVEMBER 27, 2014

The Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela, on Thursday said all systems are in place to receive about 200 delegates from across Africa, who will attend the two-day Pan-African Youth Union (PYU) Congress.

The congress will get underway on Friday and end on Saturday in Johannesburg.

“The guests, who will be coming from all parts of the African Continent, will deliberate on issues that affect the Youth of Africa and find creative solutions to the challenges that face Africa’s youth,” the Deputy Minister said.

He was briefing media in Johannesburg ahead to the congress, which South Africa will host for the fourth time this year.

The Deputy Minister said the PYU aims to inform, mobilise and build capacity of youth in Africa to be active players in the economic, social, political and cultural development processes on the continent.

“The PYU, as the body tasked with advancing youth development on the continent, works to maintain and reinforce the values and ideals of the African Union, mainly the fostering of unity, peace, democracy, sustained development and African integration,” the Deputy Minister said. 

He said discussions will revolve around Agenda 2063 and advancing socio-economic development in line with the African Union’s vision for the continent.

“The aim is to encourage debate by all stakeholders on how the continent can effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the advancement now underway and tactically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term to ensure positive socio-economic transformation within the next 50 years.

“The plight of women on the African Continent will be considered as a fundamental priority in all discussions,” he said.

He said Foreign Ministers and officials will be received and welcomed to South Africa when they land at OR Tambo International Airport from their respective countries.

The PYU congress will be held under the theme ‘Youth Moving Africa Forward’, and aims to establish a platform for interaction among young people, policy-makers and social partners on youth development issues on the continent.

Deputy Minister Manamela said issues that will be addressed during the congress include peace and stability, education and skills development, youth entrepreneurship development, international solidarity and the fight against HIV/AIDS on the continent.

President Jacob Zuma will tomorrow deliver a keynote address at the congress after the Gauteng Premier David Makhura and National Youth Development Agency Executive Chairperson Yershen Pillay welcome delegates to the congress.

Outstanding personality honour for President Jacob Zuma

President Zuma will also be granted an African Youth Peace Medal on the day, which is the PYU’s highest honour awarded by the Executive Committee of the PYU to outstanding Africans, who have contributed towards securing peace, development and the advancement of African people.

“This year, the award will be bestowed upon President Jacob Zuma for his outstanding contribution to peace and international cooperation amongst African people and especially youth on the African continent,” the Deputy Minister said.

He said another special award will be bestowed on the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at the PYU gala dinner in recognition of her work to develop young people on the continent. -

Photo caption: The chairperson of the NYDA, Yershen Pillay, will oversee the hosting of the Pan African Youth Union awards beginning on Friday.