Achaleke Christian Leke Nominated to serve the African Union as an African Youth Ambassador for Peace for the Central Africa Sub-Region.

As part of the efforts to advance the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda of the African Union (AU), the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, PAPS, nominated 5 young people from the 5 sub-regions of the continent to serve as Africa Youth Ambassadors for peace. The five young people will be officially appointed at the upcoming AU Heads of State Summit in February

The Five AYAPs – Elect

African Union (AU), the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, (PAPS)launched the Youth for Peace (Africa) Program (Y4P) in September 2018, with the primary objective of facilitating the meaningful participation of African youth in all spectrum of peace and security and dissuading their participation in violence. To enhance youth participation in the peace and security agenda on the continent, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) during its 807th meeting requested the AU Commission to appoint five regional African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP) to work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace and security on the continent.

The 15 Shorlisted AYAPs in Addis for the final selection stage

After a statutory selection process which took place from the 19th to 12th of November 2021 at the African Union Head Quarters in Addis Ababa with the 15-finalist selected from the over 1500 applicants, 5 young people were selected to serve in this role representing each sub-region in the continent. Among the selected 5 is Cameroon born youth peace building expert; Achaleke Christian Leke. Achaleke was appointed to serve as the AYAP for the Central Africa sub-Region. Achaleke has over 14 years of experience working as a practitioner and researcher in the field of youth, peace, security and counter violent extremism. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Local Youth Corner Cameroon; a leading youth-led peacebuilding organization in Cameroon. He is a multi-award-winning peacebuilder with a track record of executing over 600 community projects, engaged in policy development, advocacy and implementation including the Continental Framework on YPS, UNSCR 2250, 2014 and 2535. 

Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs – Ethiopia and AU PAPS team pose with the Nominated AU Youth Ambassadors for Peace

The AYAPs, working under the direct supervision of the leadership of PAPS of the AUC shall champion the promotion and advocacy of youth participation in peace and security issues at the regional level and across Africa. Specifically, the AYAPs will promote the actualization of the five priorities of the Continental Framework on Youth, Peace and Security (CFYPS), which are guided by Article 17 of the AU Youth Charter (2006) and the United Nations Security Council Resolution Council (UNSCR) 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020).

Cross-section of selected AYAPs alongside Staff from the AU PAPS as well as RECs/ REMs

The mission of the AYAPs

The AYAPs shall:

• Advocate for the promotion of rights for young people in his/her region;

• Advocate and raise awareness on the AU CFYPS and its 10-Year Implementation Plan in their region;

• Encourage and support the AU Member States in the region with the coordination of the Y4P program to enhance the development of National Action Plans and its implementation in their region;

• Implement regional youth activities covering the five (5) priority areas;

• On request, represent the AU PAPS in meetings, training and workshops.

Achaleke’s Vision as an AYAP.

Coming, from a conflict-affected country, the realities of the Boko haram insurgency and the conflict in the Anglophone regions has strengthened the commitment of Achaleke to build peace. Achaleke is committing his strategy to target the 5 priority areas of the Youth Peace and Security Agenda to ensure that young people play a key role in conflict resolution and peace building across the region. He will seek to achieve the following;

Firstly, ensure that young people have the capacity and opportunities to participate as key actors in building peace. By this he will Engage in community, national and regional awareness-raising /consultation on the Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security (CFYPS) agenda and provide capacity for young boys and girls to engage in the development and implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs). This action will also focus on pushing governments and other development stakeholders to create a safe space and provide finances for young people to effectively participate in their own little ways toward peace.

Secondly, he will focus on ensuring that governments and development stakeholders take actions to prevent young people from engaging in violence. This will include highlighting the need for the creations of opportunities for young people and efforts which will respond to the drivers and route causes of violence. This will also ensure Justice, respect for human rights are upheld. This activity will also engage in strengthening the capacity of young boys and girls including displaced persons and persons living with disabilities on early warning, conflict prevention, mediation and against hate speech

Thirdly, he will focus on advancing the need to protect young boys and girls during conflict situations. This will go to ensure young people are not seen as targets and become victims of violence, abuse and exploitation. These efforts will focus on capacitating young people and other stakeholders to ensure they protect young people as well as do advocacy with belligerent parties on conflict. This action will also focus on supporting young people in developing protection protocols and advocating for the protection of young people within the AU.

Fourthly,  he will focus on ensuring that there is increased partnership and coordination between and among young people from different walks of life to be at the forefront of responding to community challenges which ultimately builds peace. I will focus on Developing /strengthening a multi-stakeholder Nation Coalition on YPS led by youth.

Finally, he will focus on advocating and trying to ensure young people who have been associated with conflict or violence are effectively rehabilitated and reintegrated. I will focus on engaging stakeholders to support former associates of violence and crime to ensure there is no re-offending. I will advance the need for an effective SPRR, DRR and SSR with young people giving them the opportunity and resources to contribute to this process.

In all,  his mandate will be to ensure the AU and the CEMAC commission  takes a key role in holding its member states accountable while supporting them in responding to violent conflict and building peace

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