The EU Ambassador Christian Bader, Ms. Aya Chebbi, the African Union Special Envoy on Youth, and Minister Albino Bol Dhieu, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of South Sudan met South Sudanese civil society youth to mark the opening of the month-long youth celebrations in Juba, South Sudan. This year, the African Youth Month (AYM) runs for the month of November and will be marked by a series of initiatives under the slogan ‘Youth Voices, Actions, Engagement: Building a Better Africa’.
The AYM opening event was hosted on October 31st by #DefyHateNow, a South Sudanese youth initiative that works to mobilise civic action for peace and reconciliation. “November is a special month”, said Ambassador Bader. “South Sudan is a young nation and 72% of the population are under 30. These young people are at the heart of the development agenda and the EU is committed to supporting them for peace and sustainable development in South Sudan.”
A series of activities are organised in Juba throughout November to highlight young people’s engagement and empowerment, and support the implementation of African Union policies on youth.
The EU in South Sudan has been supporting a number of initiatives targeting youth engagement and employment. Examples include: provision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for some 6,000 young women and men in five states across the country and support to the successful harmonisation of TVET curricula across the country. The EU is also supporting initiatives such as #DefyHateNow to engage youth in improving access to information and has committed an additional EUR 5 million to increase youth employment in the country.