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Regional body puts youth at centre of peace and cohesion

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 03:46 | By
IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu. PHOTO/Print

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is banking on youth inclusion in the negotiation, mediation and peace building processes after conflict within member states.

Speaking in Mombasa after unveiling Sam Ogwala as the new youth envoy, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, said it is critical to expand spaces for youth engagement in peace processes.

“We are working on peace and security, climate change and other issues, when we are talking on these issues nationally and as a region it’s impossible without the participation of the youth, that’s why we are working on a youth policy to guide through,” said Gebeyehu.

Gebeyehu said a communiqué has been sent to member countries to ensure they adopt comprehensive youth policies that will advance on their agendas in the region. The new envoy will advocate for problems and opportunities of youth in the region.

Participation of youth had previously been constrained by long-standing cultural norms of exclusion, an erroneous view of youth as a threat to peace processes, limited resources and restricted civic spaces among other factors.

“In terms of all aspects of activities the youth are prominent leaders of the society, in politics, social life, diplomacy youth are a very important element of the society, we are focusing on youth,” said Gebeyehu.

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