We, the young people from country members of East African Community namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda convening at Arusha- Tanzania from the 2nd to 3rd November, 2007 for the East African Youth Summit organized by East African Community Youth Organization(EACYO):
Having received the country perspectives on the role of youth in the East African integration and development process;
Having reflected upon the theme “Networking to realize the role of youth in East African Community Integration and development process” through various topical presentations and discussions;
Recalling the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community particularly the guiding principle of ensuring that the East African Community is people centered, private sector led and market driven.
Recognizing that youth of East Africa are important stakeholder in the EAC processes since they form substantial part of the population that can influence policies formulation, participate in community mobilization/sensitization and implementation due to their creativity and energy.
THE EAC YOUTH SUMMIT:
On East African integration and development process:
1. Recognizes the efforts that have been made in reviving and promoting the East African Integration;
a) Acknowledges the EAC for the steps reached towards the federation particularly the intention to move to the common market mechanism.
b) Urges EAC countries to recognize that youth are having hopes and perspectives towards the existence of the East African Federation since we are the generation of today and tomorrow.
c) Requests for effective engagement of youth in the common market negotiations that are scheduled to commence in January 2008 including being engaged in popularization and representation in the negotiations on the protocols.
d) Reiterate the need to ensure that integration process is carried out in a participatory manner that builds trust, involving broad participation of key stakeholders including young men and women including in rural areas.
e) Calls upon the Inter-University Council of East Africa to revive comprehensive student exchange programme including expanding it to involve all EAC countries.
f) Urges the partner states the decision reached to review, harmonize and align the education curricula so that the students get training and practical skills that are required in the job market as East Africa moves towards industrialization and entrepreneurial development.
2. Draws into attention that information and education on East African integration and development is fundamental for the sustainability and support of the institution and its processes from the people particularly the youth;
a) Recommends that the youth have to be trained on EAC issues and processes to be able to reach their peers and communities to contribute in bridging the gap between the EAC government and the people.
b) Encourage governments and organizations including the youth organization to implement civic education initiatives that among other things sensitize the citizens on available opportunities, rights and responsibilities in the context East Africa Community (EAC).
3. Urges government, youth and other development partners to promote growth and youth employment as key priorities in the EAC agenda of poverty reduction and promoting prosperity among the East African countries;
a) Ensure major national and regional investment in education, infrastructure, agriculture and creation of conducive policy environment as prerequisites for faster growth and greater poverty reduction.
b) Enhance participation of majority of people in the economic growth through empowering communities to utilize/own the resources, promoting youth employment and encouraging women entrepreneurship.
c) Increase trade by widening East African’s market by building capacities to trade, dismantling trade barriers particularly in the international markets including in Africa and exploring markets within the East Africa region by expediting the common market arrangement at regional level.
On the role of youth and Civil Society Organizations in the East African Integration and development process:
1. Emphasizes that youth as part of the civil society organizations have to play active in the East African integration and development process:
a) Recommends the EAC to establish a Youth Department at the secretariat and have officer working specifically on youth affairs preferably a young professional.
b) Calls upon EAC secretariat, government and other stakeholders to consider youth involvement including young people with disability as a process of full integration and not just having a youth position in the structures.
2. Recognize the efforts made by various youth organizations/network to promote EAC integration and development among young people:
a) Resolves to promote cooperation/ integration of youth organizations/networks which are working on EAC having noted with concern the over lapping and/or duplication of activities of youth organizations that are working on EAC integration, and have stronger youth voice.
On the role of the East African Community Youth Organization in the East African Community Integration and development process:
1. Reaffirms the role East African Community Youth Organization in East African Community integration and development process and in particular:
a) Received the draft of constitution of the East African Youth organization (EACYO) as a working document and direct the consultation to be initiated at country level pending the adoption of the constitution in the coming summit in 2008.
b) Resolve that EACYO chapters have to be registered at the country level in the remaining countries namely Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.
c) Accepted the EACYO road map(plan of activities) as working document, the road map includes among other things; organizing national youth summits/conferences on EAC, EA games, conducting University dialogues on EAC integration and development,
d) Elected the interim committee for the EACYO namely; President (Tanzania), Vice Chairperson (Kenya), General Secretary (Uganda), Deputy Secretary General (Burundi) and Treasurer (Rwanda).
e) Request the EAC Secretariat and other development partners particularly the GTZ to support the implementation of the EACYO by among other things specifically support the EAC Youth Summit 2008 that is agreed to be held in Rwanda.
2. Call upon EAC secretariat, governments and other institutions to engage EACYO as a partner to reach young people on EAC issues and processes:
a) Consider immediate acceptance of EACYO as one of the key institutions for the promotion of EAC integration and in future provide the organization with the observer status to the EAC upon fulfilling the requisite requirements.
b) Encourages the collaboration of all partners in addressing the challenges that are facing youth particularly poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS and crime.
Adopted on the 3rd November, 2007 in full by:
The Youth Summit of the East African Community