Members of the Africa Youth Advisory Board on Disaster Risk Reduction (AYAB DRR) under the African Union Commission (AUC)

Source(s): Africa Youth Advisory Board for DRR

The Sendai Framework for Action (SFDRR) 2015-2030, adopted at the UN Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Sendai, Japan in March 2015, iterated that youth are agents of change and should be given the space and modalities to contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), based on legislation, national practice and educational curricula. 

At the regional level, African Union member states have expressed their strong commitment to the implementation of the Sendai Framework by adopting the Africa Programme of Action (PoA) for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The PoA seeks to achieve the global outcomes in Africa as outlined in the SFDRR: “The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries by 2030. 

As part of the PoA key components, it called for the establishment of the Africa Youth Advisory Board (AYAB) on DRR. The establishment of the AYAB DRR is inspired by the fact that, 60% of current estimates of the population in Africa is below 35 years.  In addition, Priority 2 ‘Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk’ of the SFDRR also influenced the establishment of AYAB DRR. The foundation of the board is also strongly influenced by the Youth Engagement Platform (YEP). This is to ensure coherence with the agendas of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the UN department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC). These two UN entities have the agendas to by 2020, enhance collective and meaningful youth involvement in DRR policy development, implementation, follow up and review of DRR Strategies.

On, 3rd April 2019, the AUC launched an open call (Expression of Interest) for youth organisations / young africans below the age of 35 years to apply to be members of the board. In accordance with being transparent, open and inclusive, a 15-member gender balanced board was selected.The process was led by the DRR Unit within the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the AUC with support of the Africa Office of UNDRR, the youth division of the Human Resources, Science & Technology Department (HRST) of the AUC, the United Nations Major Group for children and Youth (UNMGCY) and Africa major group for academia. 

The inaugural meeting was held 6-7th May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. 

This news item is to introduce the AYAB DRR board members (Now 14 - Profiles attached) whose mission is to support the AUC to implement, review and follow up on the PoA through:

1. Advising member states of the AUC to mainstream and meaningfully engage young people in DRR processes;

2. Facilitating the capacity building of young people so they can become agents of change in DRR at multiple level.

In light of the above, AYAB DRR seeks always to be involved in all DRR activities, events, and platforms including:

1. To be engaged in creating DRR strategies that are youth inclusive;

2. To build and strengthen linkages between youth activities at the community level with those at National, Regional and Continental levels;

3. To support the coordination of youth contributions to international policies, programs, and strategies through existing platforms for youth engagement; and

4. To work with key stakeholders by participating in national, regional or global events as well as inclusion in the database of regional and national institutions

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