Young women said it all!

Reflections of the Post 2015 African Youth Consultative Meeting
Young women at Post 2015This is a personal account of my participation at the Post 2015 African Youth Conference held  at UN Offices, Nairobi, Kenya, from the 18th-20th of December 2012. More than 60 delegates from all regions attended this important processes, where speakers from various institutions including my sister, Shukri Gesod,  representing Oxfam Pan African Office, challenged young people to redefine the African Narrative in the way they wanted to see in the Post 2015. I attended this Conference as a member of FEMNET.
Being in my mid 30s and approaching 35, I realised that even though I am still considered a youth, I still realise that young people in their 30s need to still continue linking up with youth activists and pass on the baton, especially on how to become strategically placed towards lobbying and advocating for a new Africa that takes into account young people’s needs and a new Africa that has leaders that listen to the voices of young people.
Even though not all young people were present at the conference, the role of social media was never to be ignored as updates from the conference were being uploaded onto Twitter and Facebook in order to inform every young people in the continent on the key issues that were being discussed during this period!
What was also important about this process was noting how young women, especially those belonging to FEMNET, managed to articulate the women’s position paper towards the Post 2015 Framework, since African women had met in Monrovia, Liberia in October 2012 and developed their key positions on what the Post 2015 framework should look like for women in Africa.
Young people were  also challenged in developing key positions which were non negotiable taking into account of the needs of women, and youth with disabilities around Africa. Even though each sub region ensured that its key priorities had to be included in the final document, what was key was to come up with a consensus and agree on fundamentals that would be presented at the High Level Platform on the Post 2015 to be held in Monrovial, Liberia early in February this year. For more information on the outcomes of the Post 2015 African Youth Conference, kindly log onto the following link and download the outcomes of the conference.
What was key for me at this process was to ensure that more young people including young women have their capacity strengthened in lobbying and advocacy and being able to be strategic in ensuring that their issues are addressed at platforms that matter most.
Taking into account of the fact that this month, the African Union Summit takes place in less than 2 weeks time, young people who attended this conference in November 2012 and have the opportunity to be there at the AU this month, should ensure that the outcomes of the conference are shared with the relevant policy makers.
Coming back home, I just got inspired to be more actively involved in young women’s issues, never mind that I am no longer part of the crew, but just knowing that I have sisters and brothers in that age group, gives me the zeal and passion to use every platform to address youth concerns and ensuring that their voices are captured .In that way, only then can we say, our founding fathers such as the late Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, and other Pan Africanists such as Thomas Sankara, will not turn into their graves asking themselves,’why are our descendants betraying us’????
2013: a year of change, a year of reflection, and renewal of strategy! Young women should use each space to reflect, strategise, plan, strategise, reflect, strategise!!! That’s the only way in which we leave a legacy that our children and grandchildren will be truly proud of!!!
African Youth Conf on post 2015Tafadzwa Muropa is an active member of FEMNET and a Gender and Peacebuilding Officer with the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

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