ALMA Statement on the Pan African Youth Digital Consultation to Develop a Malaria Youth Engagement Strategy
17 September 2020, Global-We welcome youth leadership in driving change to win the fight against malaria and accelerate progress towards the achievement of universal health coverage. African youth are already actively engaged in sharing ideas on how to silence the Guns through Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture, addressing gender equality and responding to COVID-19. We remain emboldened as ALMA’s Secretariat to silence the mosquitoes that spread malaria and address the broader health and development agenda on the continent. This is a guaranteed way to move the development agenda forward and achieve greater results for investments that we have made. Let me take this opportunity to commend the AU for its commitment to Africa’s youth Agenda as demonstrated by successive political commitments including the African Union Constitutive Act, the African Youth Charter and the African Union Roadmap on Harnessing and reaping the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth that give priority to youth empowerment and participation in the development of the continent.
The 2017 the African Union Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth is based on the conviction that young people hold the key to the Africa We Want. This provides a strategic lens towards achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063: (1) employment and entrepreneurship, (2) education and skills development, (3) health and well being and (4) rights, governance and youth empowerment. The Pan African Youth Digital Consultation to Develop a Malaria Youth Engagement Strategy is essentially a youth dialogue; and will provide a strong foundation for further engagement to ensure a common position for intergenerational dialogue where young people are fully engaged in co-creating adequate and sustainable solutions for the Africa we want.
While the COVID-19 public health emergency threatens to derail the unprecedented progress made over the past two decades in the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria, we should soldier on to avert this dire scenario through life-saving mosquito net distribution campaigns, indoor residual spraying, and preventive treatments for pregnant women and children, as well as ensuring that we sustain access to case management.
The ALMA Chair’s transformational agenda depends on Africa’s youth becoming active players in defining the broader health and development agenda, laying a strong foundation for Africa’s inclusive economic growth, poverty reduction, peace and security and shared prosperity.
We are inspired by the commitment of my remarkable sisters, their Excellencies Commissioners of Social Affairs and Human Resources, Science and Technology to advancing the fight against malaria and contribute to universal health coverage.
We celebrate the collaboration with the Youth Envoy in her capacity as the Spokesperson of the African Union to the relevant African Union decision making bodies. Her engagement with key stakeholders at the global, continental, regional and national levels will provide invaluable guidance in ensuring that our engagement effectively harnesses the demographic dividend, empower young people across Africa; and further mobilise them in pursuit of the aspirations outlined in Agenda 2063; including a malaria free Africa.
Zero Malaria Starts with Me. Zero Malaria Starts with the Youth. I thank you.