The African University on Youth and Development (AUYD) took place from 4 to 12 July in Cape Verde and brought together approximately 150 Youth leaders, mainly from Africa and Europe.
The University, organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and its partners, provided the opportunity for youth organisations and their elected representatives to meet together in order to share experiences and knowledge, and to learn and contribute in the various sessions and training courses.
This learning space proved to be a successful example for the possibilities of the implementation of the Africa-EU Strategic partnership.
On 5 July, the University participated actively and visibly in the celebrations of the 35th Independence Day of Cape Verde, which was an emotional highlight for all of the participants.
Scouts and Guides organised two and participated mainly in three training courses which were held in the framework of the AUYD namely; in the Long-Term training course for trainers, the Portuguese speaking (Lusophone) Scout youth forum and the training course on co-operation at the Pan-African level.
In the spirit of the AUYD, and with additional support from the North-South Centre, the opportunity was taken to hold a Scout Youth Forum of the Portuguese speaking countries, in an Africa-Europe context. The forum promoted the spirit of co-operation among the Portuguese speaking Scout Associations. This training focused in particular on strengthening contacts, debating possible partnerships between Lusophone associations and the active role of young people in the development of their countries through Scouting. One of the concrete results of this one-week Scout Youth Forum is a low cost partnership between young Scouts at the local level. Another concrete achievement is the agreement to exchange postal mail between Scout groups of the countries that were involved.
The second activity at which Scouts were present was the 2nd Long Term Training Course (LTTC) for trainers on Africa Europe Youth Cooperation. This was organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in the framework of the partnership on youth between the Council of Europe and the European Union.
The LTTC 2009-2010 was composed of four different features including: two, one week long residential seminars; the first one was held in July 2009 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and the second one in Praia, Cape Verde in July 2010 as part of the University. The trainings also included a “practice phase”, a learning and communication virtual platform as well as a personal development plan and a mentoring phase.
The main focus of the 2nd LTTC was to evaluate the whole training experience. Further specific objectives were:
- To explore the concept of a experiential learning cycle
- To share participant’s experiences from the practical phase
- To set a basis for common practices
- To continue and strengthen the networking among group members.
In addition to practical recommendations to enhance and sustain unique, useful and engaging training within the field of Africa Europe cooperation, participants have formed an experienced team of trainers both in Africa and Europe. Networking and follow up mechanisms were established to build and sustain this community of trainers as well as to support cooperation projects/programmes that have been established as a result of the LTTC.
The third course was organised by the WOSM Africa Regional Office, with the support of the European Region and focused on ‘Strengthening co-operation among African Youth organisations’. The training course was mainly funded by the 1% solidarity fund of the European Youth Forum as well as by the Finnish Scouts. This was also a concrete example of the positive outcome of the existing cooperation between African and European Scout Regions as well as partners.
The Training Course was based on the conviction that it is of utmost importance to reach effective cooperation between youth organisations that are active at the Pan-African level Which offers the opportunity for exchange, sharing best practices and learning from each other. The partners of this training course reaffirmed their conviction that cooperation among, and participation of, youth organisations is required in order to fully achieve a sustainable and human centred development.
At the African regional level there is no stable framework for cooperation outside the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU) which is an umbrella for National Youth Councils in Africa and therefore does not respond to the needs of international youth organisations in Africa. Bearing that in mind, the training course aimed at strengthening cooperation amongst youth organisations that are active in Africa outside the PYU framework, but equally involved in youth development and human capacity building in order to ensure a complementing voice of PYU.
The participants of the training course agreed to initiate a framework for cooperation at the Pan-African level, based on joint priorities and focussing on concrete activities such as the Africa-Europe Youth Summit which will take place in November 2010. This process was outlined in a draft action plan that includes steps forwards in order to achieve a strong and content-oriented co-operation.