Africa has the youngest population in the world with more than 400 million young people aged between the ages of 15 to 35 years. Such a youthful population calls for an increase of investment in economic and social development factors, in order to improve the development index of African nations.
The AU has developed several youth development policies and programmes at continental level aimed at ensuring the continent benefits from its demographic dividend. The policies a include the African Youth Charter, Youth Decade Plan of Action, and the Malabo Decision on Youth Empowerment, all of which are implemented through various AU Agenda 2063 programmes.
The African Youth Charter protects young people from discrimination and ensures freedom of movement, speech, association, religion, ownership of property and other human rights, while committing to promoting youth participation throughout society.
The Youth Decade Plan of Action focuses on 5 key priority areas namely:
- Education and Skills Development
- Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Governance, Peace and Security
- Youth Health and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights
- Agriculture, Climate Change and the Environment
The TVET Continental Strategy provides a comprehensive framework for the design and development of national policies and strategies to address the challenges of education and technical and vocational training to support economic development, creation of national wealth and contribute to poverty reduction through youth entrepreneurship, innovation and employment.
The Human Resources, Science & Technology Department promotes the work of the AU in the area of youth development.