The AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub was founded in 2018 to address common challenges and to strengthen the voice of young people in Africa and Europe. This creation follows the "AU-EU Youth Plug-In" initiative, which was intended to actively involve young people in the Afri-ca-Europe partnership proposals at the 5th African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Summit held in November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte-d´Ivoire. This platform continues the implementa-tion of the AU-EU Youth Agenda and develops innovative approaches and ideas for common solutions to youth problems on both continents.
During its first phase of creation, young people from Africa and Europe gathered ideas on six key areas of AU-EU cooperation. They were guided by the Abidjan Youth Declaration and the AU and EU Youth Agenda. During the second phase from 29 October to 7 November 2018, 42 young experts from Africa, Europe and the African diaspora from 28 different countries who were selected from more than 1,700 applications met to transform the ideas they had collected in phase one into viable pilot projects.
The ideas were generated to be implemented as projects in these six core areas: Education, business, environment, good governance, peace and security, culture, sport and the arts. A project proposal in the field of education, for instance, focuses on international youth exchanges and mutual learning, both between African and European countries and between countries in Africa. Through mutual learning visits, workshops and virtual methods of ex-changing experiences, international and local civil society actors engaged in the youth field can be strengthened in their skills and empowered to find new opportunities of collaboration therein.
The model described above profits from the experience of the German-African Youth Initiative (AGYI), which since 2016 has been breaking new ground and innovating together with civil society in improving the quality of partnerships, mutual learning and exchange in the spirit of Global Citizenship. The pilot projects selected under the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub will be implemented in 2019 and 2020 by civil society organizations with the active involvement of the youth experts in the ongoing implementation process.
Overall, the AU-EU cooperation platform for youth aims not only to implement the first pilot projects, but also to lay the foundations for both a growing group of qualified "agents of change" and for the provision of expertise. Indeed, the long-term interest of this AU-EU cooperation goes beyond project financing and extends to making concrete and lasting contributions to social, political and economic conditions towards the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals of the African Union Agenda 2063.