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UNICEF correspondent Thomas Nybo reports on the African Youth Forum in Uganda and the call to action composed by Forum participants.
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Thomas Nybo: A group of more than 100 youth from across Africa have allowed message for the leaders of the countries in the African Union who are meeting for the upcoming AU heads of state summit being held in Kampala, Uganda.
The youth representing 40 countries in Africa gathered in the nearby Entebbe for the first ever African Youth Forum.
They have just finished writing a call to action. The two of the youth would deliver to the heads of state summit.
Bonolo Cebe: We hereby tell governments to integrate, scale up and regularly update life skills and sexual reproductive health education in school curricular as well as out of school programs in line with Article 16 of the African Youth Charter.
We strongly urge our governments to invest in capacity building and development of peer educators, youth volunteers and fund youth-led initiatives in young centers to promote our participation in life skills and Sexual Reproduction Health Research advocacy, training and monitoring.
Thomas Nybo: Their call to action also stressed living accountable, responsible healthy lifestyles. The young leaders work together over their three day summit to produce their collective recommendations with regard to maternal, infant and child health.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni presided over the opening ceremony. He was joined by UNICEF Regional Director for east and southern Africa Elhadj As Sy and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow who urged the youth to take action.
Mia Farrow: The world is a dangerous place not only because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing. Be the change you wish to see in this world. You can do it. The young are the majority. The world will belong to you.
Thomas Nybo: Despite having only three days to put together their call to action, the youth wasted no time tackling such topics as gender-based violence and the rural poverty in child mortality.
Speaking at forum’s press conference, UNICEF’s representative in Uganda Dr. Sharad Sapra said the message of the youth is coming through loud and clear.
Dr. Sharad Sapra: The young, as I've met here and seen in many countries that I've worked, they're full of aspirations. They want to make a difference. And they want to be engaged. And they want to be a part of the solutions. They want their voices to be heard and their ideas to be heard.
Thomas Nybo: To make sure these young voices are heard, the two African youth from the forum will read the call to actions key points at the AU Summit opening ceremony on July 25th and again the next day, in the Africa First Ladies Meeting.
This is Thomas Nybo reporting for UNICEF Television in Entebbe, Uganda. For more information, go to UNICEF.org. Unite for children.