Report on the AU theme of the year 2017 “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”
In January 2016, the AU Assembly declared 2017 as the year for “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth” . The decision requested the Commission in collaboration with partners to “Expedite the implementation of a continental initiative on Demographic Dividend for Africa” and “develop a roadmap with key deliverables and milestones” to guide Member States and Regional Economic Communities on key steps to take towards harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa. The decision was based on the realization that in order to achieve sustainable development and realize the aspirations of Agenda 2063 (“The Africa We Want”), the continent must accelerate and increase strategic investments in its young people who constitute the majority of its population.
In response to the AU decision, an extensive consultative process involving various experts and ministerial groups of AU Member States and civil society organizations including young people was undertaken leading to the development of the AU Roadmap on the theme of the year 2017.
The Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sports reviewed the AU roadmap on the theme of the year 2017 and recommended its endorsement by the relevant bodies. The roadmap was endorsed by the AU Executive Council in July 2016 through decision EX.CL/Dec. 921(XXIX)
The Four Thematic Pillars of the AU 2017 Theme Roadmap:
i. Pillar on Employment and Entrepreneurship
ii. Pillar on Education and Skills Development
iii. Pillar on Health and Well-being
iv. Pillar on Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment