Model African Union: African Youth Voicing Their Minds (Testimonials)

TUNIS- Model African Union (MAU) 2017 was held in Tunis, Tunisia, on April 22nd and 23rd at the Mediterranean School of Business. This was the 4th edition of this initiative which was under the patronage of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Foundation and in collaboration with the commission of the African Union.

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Model African Union (MAU) was launched by Hamza Ghedamsi in 2013 to promote the activities of the African Union (AU) and Pan-Africanism. Its main project is to hold an annual Model African Union in which youth discuss matters relevant to the issues discussed in the actual summit of the African Union. The committees of the MAU consist of the Assembly, the Executive Council, Peace and Security Council, HSGOC project, and the Economic, social and cultural council (ECOSOCC). The resolutions drafted by participants in each committee are delivered to the commission of the African Union: Participants suggest concrete solutions to their problems for the official bodies of the AU. Mr Ghedamsi also announced that starting from this year, MAU will organize two models matching the AU’s two summits per year. The first is to be held in Tunisia while the second is scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the AU’s headquarters. Other projects by the organization include the Academy of African Diplomacy.

This edition of Model African Union was entitled “harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youth” which was also the topic of the Assembly. Other committees had other topics such as “African youth political engagement”, “dynamics of migration”, and “the implementation of the Agenda 2063”.

Hajer Chtioui, a 20-year-old law student, is the vice-president of the ECOSOCC committee. Although this is her first time in the board committee, she participated in last year’s edition as a delegate. Miss Chtioui said that participating in MAU “is a very fulfilling experience in which one learns a lot, connects with youth from other African countries and reflects upon the continent’s problems.”

TunisiaLog also reached out to Baidey Diop, a 30-year-old sociologist, who came all the way from Senegal to attend this event. Mr Diop thought that the summit was a success due to “the almost perfect organization and the participants’ engagement that lead to a debate of a high quality, especially around the main theme.” Mr Diop also said that his participation was motivated by him being an ardent pan-africanist and defender of the potential that Africa has. He, then, signaled the importance of this summit in promoting pan-africanism as it “gives youth an opportunity to discuss issues of high importance that are usually reserved only to diplomats.”

Yann Tchikaya, a 19-year-old engineering student, said that this summit was “beyond his expectations”, and that he “never saw so many engaged and special youngsters in the same place.” He also said that this summit was a fantastic opportunity in which he was introduced to the “magnificent universe of diplomacy”. Mr Tchikaya rated the discussions as intense and serious “to the point that one might think they were in Addis Ababa.” He expressed his joy with this experience that aligns with his interest in Africa’s future and the active role of civil society in tackling the continent’s issues.

This initiative represents a true opportunity for African youth to meet, exchange ideas and provide collective solutions for their problems. It is also an opportunity to rectify the misconceptions surrounding the black continent, its riches and its potential. The event gives a first-hand glance at how things are done in diplomatic summits.

The motto of the summit was “Africa we build”, and according to the majority of participants, we have already started journeying towards building a unified, independent and prosperous Africa.

Article written by Aymen Bessalah

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