Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy delivered a speech to mark the occasion of Africa Youth Day.
During his speech, Sobhy said that the country’s political leadership, under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, accords great attention to supporting African youth.
The Egyptian government is undertaking efforts to provide them with training through qualification fellowships provided, in addition to the specialised technical fellowships provided by the Egyptian authorities and ministries.
He also said that all of these entities contribute to opening development horizons and popularizing experiences and cultures in various fields and specialties.
Sobhy added that the Egyptian government, represented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has carried out dozens of continental youth activities in cooperation with many relevant ministries and institutions.
The activities aim to support the African Union (AU) initiative to train one million young men and women by 2021, also known as the “1 Million by 2021” initiative.
This has come in conjunction with Egypt’s rotational chair of the African Union for 2019, foremost of which was the announcement making Aswan as the capital of African youth, made by President Al-Sisi during the World Youth Forum.
Egypt hosted many tournaments and events during 2019/2020, the most notable of which was the Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Egypt after a 13 year absence. A total of 24 teams took place in the tournament, for the first time in its history.
In addition to this, Egypt hosted a legendary opening, befitting Africa’s history, for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A total of eight African teams qualified for the Championship. The country also hosted the Blind African Weightlifting Championships.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has also organised many programmes during 2020, most notably the Special Olympics 1st Pan African Games, held under the auspices of President Al-Sisi.
Alongside this, the country hosted the Arab-African Youth Forum in Aswan, also held under the President Al-Sisi’s auspices, with the participation of more than 1,500 African and Arab youth.
Also during 2020, Egypt hosted the African Youth Forum on Citizenship and Development which saw the participation of 20 African countries, the Nasser Fellowship for African Leadership. The forum took place under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, with the participation of 120 young men and women from 43 African countries.
The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps – 10th Cohort, the largest volunteer programme in Africa, and which was held under the auspices of President Al-Sisi, saw the participation of 200 young men and women from 54 African countries.
Furthermore, Egypt: hosted the CAF ceremony for the Best African Player Award 2019 in Hurghada; launched the first cultural Nile Tour for African youth that set off from Cairo passing through Luxor and Aswan to consolidate the concept of cooperation between the people of the Nile Basin countries; hosted the World Diving Championship as the first African country to do so; and hosted the World Squash Tournament, which it will continue to host until 2022.
Sobhy noted that the Egyptian government, with all its sectors and institutions, has been working in full swing to serve the African youth and achieve cross-continent cooperation in various disciplines and fields.
It should be noted that Africa has celebrated “Africa Youth Day” on 1 November every year since 2006, after the African Youth Charter was adopted at the Banjul Summit in 2006. Africa Youth Day remains important as a reminder for decision-makers of the rights and role of youth and their contribution to social change, economic growth and sustainable development throughout African society. Additionally, the day aims to direct the ideal youth energy to enhance efforts towards achieving sustainable development in Africa.