Young people form a large part of the population of the African continent. Therefore, it is imperative that organizations look into effective ways to ensure diversity and inclusivity for African youth.
The African Union Commission (AUC) has always championed for the inclusion of youth living with disabilities in the workplace and in civic spaces. “The AU Disability Inclusion Guideline for Youth Exchange serves as a working document to assist the AU and its organs in providing equal access to opportunities for all African youth” said Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, Head of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST).
The Inclusion Guideline directly connects to H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat’s (Chairperson of the AUC) initiative “1 Million by 2021” that seeks to create direct opportunities for one million young Africans in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement (the 4Es). The guideline makes sure that everyone interested in the opportunities provided by the initiative is equally considered. The AUC believes that the inclusion of African youth in education opportunities, skills training, and employment opportunities is an important component contributing towards Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
The Inclusion Guideline attempts to further reduce the barriers that – despite all efforts made by the AU - disabled African youth still face in the existing exchange and volunteering opportunities. It provides a thorough break down of the recruitment processes of disabled youth, the types of disabilities that exist, the benefits of having a disability-inclusive exchange and volunteering programs, and the monitoring and evaluation processes of ensuring that these youth groups are included in opportunities even after their participation in prospects made available by organizations.
The AU Disability Inclusion Guideline for Youth Exchange was developed in collaboration with GIZ (technical support) and through a consultative process involving various actors and volunteers across the continent.