Windhoek-The fourth AU-EU Youth Summit in Abidjan in Ivory Coast last week has impressed local social innovator and international speaker Hilda Liswani, who has just returned home.
The 25 year old was the only Namibian delegate and representative at the summit and says she is very happy and proud to share the outcome of the summit with fellow Namibians. She is also preparing to represent Namibia at the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative in Brussels, Belgium within two weeks.
“Reflecting on my week spent in vibrant Abidjan, I was inspired by the people and institutions I connected with. I was particularly impressed with everyone’s unrelenting will to develop and agree on joint solutions for young people in the AU and EU. [I am] looking forward to building these relations even more in the coming weeks,” Liswani says.
She believes the baton is being passed on to young people in Namibia and Africa and this was a chance to tap into opportunities to own their destiny and collectively steer their ship towards shared progress.
“Therefore, in essence, the declaration seeks to be applicable in both continents and young people in Namibia can definitely use it as a lobbying tool to address and advocate for progress in those different clusters,” Liswani said about the meeting in Belgium.
She described the launch of the very first AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative, where – as a fellow – she will have the opportunity to further refine and strengthen the declaration over five weeks, as most impressive.
She also cherishes the opportunity to meet officials at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa and the EU headquarters in Brussels. “This is an innovative approach, which truly goes beyond the traditional summit/conference setting and hopes to ensure more tangible and constructive results,” she remarked.
The recommendation of the summit was to welcome the decision to focus a fifth of the AU-EU Summit on “investing in youth”, an overdue decision in which they foresee the potential to review the AU-EU partnership’s shortcomings in relation to youth, re-establish a long-term Africa-Europe youth cooperation framework and put in place a plan of action to support the recommendations presented.