AU Day: Africa’s youth must be given access to resources and opportunities

Former President John Dramani Mahama has emphasized the need for African leaders to give the continent’s young people greater access to resources and opportunities.

Although Africa has the youngest population in the world, the majority of the continent’s youth are not gainfully employed.

While reminding Africans to work harder, the former President in a message to mark African Union (AU) Day also called on various governments on the continent to improve on the legacy of past leaders.

“Today also reminds us of the need to work harder as a people and governments to improve on the legacy bestowed on us. As the world’s youngest continent, Africa must ensure that our young people have greater access to resources, have a stronger voice in decision-making, and are not discriminated against.”

AU Day, formerly known as African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day, is the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 25th May 1963.

The organization was later transformed into the African Union on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the holiday continues to be celebrated on 25 May. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent as well as around the world.

This year’s AU Day, which is under the theme Africa Day is Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’ is being celebrated in the wake of a number of issues including the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the African economy.

Mr. Mahama’s comments come days after he withdrew his acceptance as the AU envoy to Somalia.

While thanking the AU for the confidence reposed in him, Mr. Mahama told the Chairperson of the AU Commission in a letter that “the high political importance of the proposed assignment requires that the High Representative enjoys the unalloyed support and co-operation of all political stakeholders.”

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