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The Contribution to Global Sustainable Development Made by Young People in Russia and Africa
24 October 2019
13:00—14:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Youth cooperation is key to developing friendship between Russia and Africa

The youth track and development of international cooperation between Russian and African youth is a very important direction for us, for the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs. <...> We hold many youth forums, trying to attract foreign youth to participate in forums. One of the examples is the annual Eurasia Global Forum. <...> An excellent forum of the BRICS and SCO countries was held in Stavropolye Territory this year, attended by about 30 representatives of the Republic of South Africa. As a result, next year we plan to sign a memorandum on mutual cooperation between Russia and South Africa in the field of youth policy — Roman Kamaev, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

We live in a time of major global challenges and civilizational changes that require joint decisions and actions of people from different countries and continents. <...> Statistics show that by 2100 the population of this continent will be about 4.5 billion people, with an average age of 25 years. <...> Worldwide, young people are the driving force of the society that shapes its future today. In an era of global transformation, Africa's role in the world is being strategically reimagined. We need to understand and change the values and orientations of African youth — Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, High Commissioner for International Relations, Deputy Secretary General, Eurasian Economic Cooperation Organization.

The share of young people in Africa is one of the largest in the world. <...> It is young people who will soon shape both the political agenda and business cooperation. <...> We are ready to strengthen our relations. <...> So that young people, who now live in Africa, treat Russia as their partner — Aleksey Mostovshchikov, Co-chairman of Magadan Regional Division, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

More than 800 million young people present a huge growth potential. <...> Youth is the key to the future and success of both the African continent and Russia — Valentin Ignatiev, Chairman, Subcommittee on Russia’s Strategic Cooperation with Africa and the Middle East, Committee on Economic Integration and Foreign Economic Affairs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
Lack of access to education and youth unemployment in Africa

Often times parents do not send their children to school because they either do not have the means or do not think they generally need any education. Therefore, children go only to local schools, which are non-Western-style schools — Rabiu Nura Rabiu, Ambassador, International Public School for Rural Education (Nigeria).

Young people are ready and willing to work, but often the domestic market does not give the youth the opportunities they need. In Africa, the situation is exactly the same, there have been wars, revolutions, the absence of social lifts — Valentin Ignatiev, Chairman, Subcommittee on Russia’s Strategic Cooperation with Africa and the Middle East, Committee on Economic Integration and Foreign Economic Affairs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

Another challenge facing Africa and young African leaders is marginalization. <...> We are not getting the response we deserve in our work — Salah Eddine Tiar, President, Founder, Algeria Youth Ambassadors.

SOLUTIONS
Raising accessibility and quality of education in the African countries

It is only through education that we can eradicate poverty, eradicate inequality, and change the face of our societies — Rabiu Nura Rabiu, Ambassador, International Public School for Rural Education (Nigeria).

The current agenda for the African Union until 2063 contains many important goals, three of which are core. The first is the quality of education and the development of skills based on science, technology and innovation <...> The second is the development of a local leadership programme <...> And the third is the active involvement of young people in socio-political processes and the protection of their rights — Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, High Commissioner for International Relations, Deputy Secretary General, Eurasian Economic Cooperation Organization.

We're trying to get kids involved in education, attract them to schools. We try to work on education, on the educational aspect or to involve parents. <...> Since children in different societies face the same problems, challenges, why not develop the same approach for solutions of these problems. So, we decided to launch this project, as it proved to be very effective in India — Rabiu Nura Rabiu, Ambassador, International Public School for Rural Education (Nigeria).

Presenting a common agenda for Russia to interact with African countries and their youth policies

There is a need for a common strategy on the part of Russia to reach the African continent under the aegis of a single organization, which will really pursue this common policy. It will develop cultural centres and actually revive the same youth associations that once were there, the system. To show the good in Russia and to exchange experience of movements and start-ups — Valentin Ignatiev, Chairman, Subcommittee on Russia’s Strategic Cooperation with Africa and the Middle East, Committee on Economic Integration and Foreign Economic Affairs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

Africa has something to take from Russia, your experience of youth policy. <...> Next, in order for the African and Russian youth to be able to cooperate and accomplish something, a number of things needs to be done. The first thing I propose is to continue to train specialists for the African continent, to increase the number of those who come here. <...> It is necessary for Russia to create an investment fund. <...> It is necessary to gather leaders of youth organizations of Russia and the African continent every once in a while. Russia has the potential, the future, and the future of the African continent is linked to youth. The way they are today shapes our future — Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, High Commissioner for International Relations, Deputy Secretary General, Eurasian Economic Cooperation Organization.

Involving youth in the international projects

Next year we will also hold several events during the Russian BRICS Chairmanship. There will be the BRICS Youth Summit, and the fifth forum for young leaders of the SCO and BRICS member states. The International Youth Business Incubator of the BRICS countries will open next year in Russia — Roman Kamaev, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

We are actively engaged in business education. <...> We offer to build international educational programmes and cooperate in this field. The Youth Parliament of the State Duma is actively engaged in international work on the development of youth parliamentarism in various countries of the world. And in fact, Africa is not exactly a proven area of our work. <...> We propose to start cooperation in this area — Aleksey Mostovshchikov, Co-chairman of Magadan Regional Division, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

It would be interesting for our organization to exchange experience, tell about our projects that we implement. We are interested, for example, how the volunteer movement is developing in the Republic of South Africa after the World Cup 2010. <...> We are ready to share experiences — Sergey Cheremshanov, Head of Educational and Social Work Department, Head of FORWARD Volunteer Resourse Center, Sochi State University.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS