On the 12th of December 2017, the IIP and Act.Now organised - following up on the 4th International Conference NOW on “African Youth and Migration” from September 3-5, 2017 in Kampala, Uganda and a series of Africa-Workshops and public debates organised by the Bruno Kreisky Forum, the VIDC and the IFK from 2016-2017 - a panel discussion on the topic Agents of Change. African Youth Between Narratives and Realities.

Since 2015, when the then current influx of refugees reached its climax in Europe, no other topic was discussed as intensively and as ambiguously than migration and flight. Newspapers spilled over with pictures of masses of immigrants and many politicians played on the topic to gain political weight, using the existing narratives describing migration first and foremost as a security threat for Europe. From 29-30 November 2017, the heads of states and governments of the African Union and the EU will meet in Cote d’Ivoire to discuss common challenges and opportunities. This year’s topic of the AU-EU summit is “Investing in the youth for a sustainable future”. With the world’s largest population under 18, Africa is the youngest continent. African youth, however, is very active, they see themselves as agents of change. Migration, also within Africa, is seen as possibility to gain education and professional know-how, just like many European students profit from exchange programs.  The experience of wars, famines, demographic growth, repressive regimes and the lack of job opportunities are substantially challenging Africa’s youth. Empowerment of the African youth to improve economic and social development but also good governance and democracy in their home countries is essential and likewise the change of the current narrative on migration.

These topics have been discussed between Victor Ochen from Uganda, Hannes Swoboda, Muna Duzdar, Ana Kalin and Youssouf Diakité under the moderation of Rita Isiba.

You can find the event report here

To see the Video please scroll to the end

Pictures:                                                                                           Credit  Act.Now Adib Sofi


Information about Panlists and Moderator:

·       RITA ISIBA, Director, Aphropean Partners

·       YOUSSOUF DIAKITÉ, Chairperson, African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe (ADYFE), Austria/Mali

·       MUNA DUZDAR, State Secretary for Diversity, Public services and Digitalisation, Austria

·       ANA KALIN, Policy maker and analyst, Forum from Equitable Development, Slovenia

·       VICTOR OCHEN, Global Advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at United Nations, UN Ambassador for Peace and Justice - Representing Sustainable Development Goals 16 at United Nations, Director at African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), Uganda

·       HANNES SWOBODA, President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), Member of the European
Parliament ret.