By Reginald Tapfumaneyi in Antananarivo| African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Youth Envoy, H.E. Ms. Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, who hails from Zimbabwe, is on a whirlwind trip to the African Island of the Indian Ocean, Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo
Mpemba is set to make the most of her maiden tour. Killing two birds with one stone, she is hosting both a listening tour and a humanitarian forum with the intention of redressing challenges faced by youth in Madagascar and also supporting youth Island games that they are soon to host.
During her listening tour, she has thus far managed to meet high-level government officials as she woes them in to signing the African Youth Charter, which is part of her mandate as the African Youth Envoy.
“I am grateful to the Malagasy government for their warm welcome to me and my team as we are here conducting the listening tour.
“We managed to have some meaningful engagements with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Youth and Sports, and we also took some time to meet with young people having fruitful discussions with them,” explained an excited Mpemba.
To date, many African governments have successfully signed and committed to the African Youth Charter. These include Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, and others.
The Charter is meant to provide young people with a political and legal framework intended to support the development of youth activities at the continental, regional, and national level in Africa.
Mpemba reiterates that: “The current statistics shows that Africa has the highest number of youth in the world.”
Meanwhile, Mpemba, through her office, together with the local authorities working in the humanitarian, are currently hosting the humanitarian forum under the theme, ‘Harnessing youth potential in response to humanitarian crisis.’
“Madagascar as an Island is prone to natural disasters as a result of climate change. Hence, we felt the need to bring this forum to this part of Africa.
“We believe that facilitating such forums will mitigate the population from the precarious situation of humanitarian crises and help develop their communities,” lamented Mpemba.
As part of the Humanitarian Forum, more than 70 youth also attended a digital skills training initiated by Mpemba as part of her digital campaign in partnership with Google.
Mpemba and her team are set to create positive change for oft left out young people in the island nation, the youth in Madagascar are upbeat about her tour.
Also,prior to this trip Ms.Mpemba was invited to the United Nations to open and moderate a panel on an event her office co-organized with the UN Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Africa and UN ECOSOCC President.
The panel included the Zimbabwe Minister of Youth, Sports and Arts, Hon.Kirsty Coventry on the African Union Theme of the Year in “Accelerating Implementation of AfCFTA”
She later gave a powerful closing of reflection alongside the UN Youth Envoy, The UN ECOSOCC President, and UN ECOSOCC Assistant Secretary General as the UN Youth ECOSOCC Meeting Concluded.
Ms.Mpemba who is Zimbabwean, is currently the youngest diplomat and senior official in the cabinet of the African Union Chairperson’s Cabinet as the Special Envoy on youth working with55 Governments in Africa on youth matters.