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Youth participation crucial for SDG success


Around fifty percent of the world’s population is under 30 years old and, as the issues addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) directly affect the world’s young people, it is crucial that they take and are accorded leadership in their implementation.

By Catherine Mossi

For the second year running, Danida Fellowship Centre is holding the “Empowerment of Youth to Influence SDG Implementation” learning programme. Once again, the participants will take part in the Danish democracy festival, Folkemødet (People’s Meeting), where they will raise their young voices in debates on international issues.

This year, 23 young people from Kenya, Rwanda, DRC, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali, South Africa, South Sudan and Burundi will participate in the programme that will be coordinated and facilitated by 2030beyond in collaboration with the UN City and MS ActionAid Denmark.

Follow the participants during their SDG learning journey from June 3 to June 21 on Danida Fellowship Centre’s LinkedIn and Instagram.

One of the participants, Beatrice Marandu, emphasises the importance of the SDG Learning Programme for young people,

 “With the global imperative to take more action on implementing the SDGs, it is essential that young people participate in the programme to equip themselves with the innovative skills they need to drive sustainability and thereby ultimately contribute to the collective prosperity and well-being of all generations, at present and in the future.”

The SDG Learning Programme is a transformative initiative that fosters a global network of young people committed to bringing sustainable change. It equips participants with the knowledge, skills, collaboration and network needed to achieve the SDGs, and covers a wide range of activities related to civic engagement in SDG implementation.

“I aspire to see the young generation of Africa working tirelessly to boost the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, connecting localised solutions with global struggles pivotal to progress,” says Niyonkuru Kevin, another participant from Burundi.

Both Beatrice and Kevin represent YouLead Africa, Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme. They were selected as participants along with East African Community Youth Ambassadors. The SDG youth delegation also includes participants from the Danish embassy Youth Sounding Boards in Mali, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya.

As part of their participation in the SDG Learning Programme, the youth leaders will design actionable plans that will contribute to achieving the SDGs and fostering sustainable development across Africa. The action plans they develop, and the documentaries on peace and security and climate justice they make, will inform the Danish embassy Youth Sounding Boards and pave the way for YouLead programme activities at this year’s YouLead Summit in Tanzania in November 2024 and in other relevant East African Community forums.

The participants’ expertise is diverse. They have experience in fields such as regional integration, youth entrepreneurship, peace advocacy, gender equality, environmental action and technology innovation.


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