Youthhubafrica’s Uganda Correspondent, Ruth Aine, recently attended the Southern and Eastern African Launch Meeting of the Africa Community of Practice in Lusaka, Zambia. She writes about the experience and her participation from a youth perspective
14-17th May 2013 saw civil servants, civil society and private sector organizations, academia and development partners meet in Lusaka Zambia for an Africa Community of Practise [AfCop] meeting in conjunction with Common Market for East and Central Africa [COMESA.] The meeting also for the first time since its inception in 2007 included youth representation. 150 people were in attendance from 19 countries in Africa.
AfCop was created after the Paris Declaration that led to the Mutual Learning Initiative. Important to note is that AfCop started out as a platform for exchanging experiences and knowledge among practitioners that were seeking to develop and expand their capacity to manage development results and then later took up the mandate of becoming a change agent. As a change agent, it would then seek to improve the development processes through supporting and advocating for result oriented policies and programs through regional and national CoPs. The former took place between 2007 and 2009 while the former is ongoing having started in 2010.
AfCop then designed a framework for action called Africa for Results AfriK4R. This initiative is a regional approach to development that helps to materialize the vision by mobilizing all stakeholders around the results and regional integration agendas.
So many issues were explored and deliberated upon as participants sought to understand more about what it means to have regional integration and development in Africa with a results initiative.
65% of the total population of Africa is between the ages of 18 and 35, making Africa the most youthful planet with an average age of 20. The young people in Africa also constitute the majority of the poor. On average 72% of the youth population in Africa live on less than $2 per day. The incidence of poverty among young people in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Burundi is over 80%. Leaving them out of any conversation that is development related does not do any justice to the continent. Africa is the future; Africa’s youth are the future. This is why involvement of the youth in this management for development results conversation and Africa for results initiative was very crucial. For the first time since the inception of AfCop, youth were allowed to be a part of this conversation.
One of the other issues that stood out was accountability. Accountability being very crucial for Management by results and the Africa results initiative. Mutual and shared accountability across all forums is needed, on the national and regional level. Accountability means that social and economic convergences are strengthened. When action takes place, evidence is seen. That creates incentives as the good practices are shared and learned leading to feedback. These principles harmonize the management by results concept that is all about being accountable.
The conference sought to once again improve the lives of citizens across Africa through the Management for development results, to contribute to the transformation of the continent and the use of Management for Results to support the implementation of strategic institutional reforms. Participants left the meeting in agreement that results are a must and they have got tp be seen by everyone. We wait to witness.
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