Regional Report on Youth Policies and Violence Prevention in the Great Lakes Region, 2nd Year

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This paper is the final outcome of field research carried out by four consultants respectively in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. It highlights and analyzes the main causes of youth violence as well as a variety of actions undertaken to promote youth development in the region, with particular focus on violence prevention. Research for the production of this paper entailed a critical desk review of policy and programme documents pertaining to youth development in the four countries, as well as interviews with university specialists on youth-related matters, professionals and leaders of youth organizations, social community workers, police forces, civil servants, local and international agency personnel, as well as United Nations agencies working on youth related issues. Findings demonstrate that youths are vital partners in the region for peace and development. Through their action, youth have proven that they want to be considered and that they can be recognized as part of the solution. Nevertheless youths face many challenges that can lead them to violence.These include poverty, unemployment, unequal distribution of resources, lack of opportunities for livelihood, lack of access to quality education, social and political exploitation, social exclusion, lack of political participation, and retrogressing cultural values and practices. Countries in the region are in a learning process of trying to support and sustain the constructive involvement of youth. The prevailing legal, policy and institutional framework for youth development and empowerment is in its formative stages. It is therefore recommended that there be close cooperation between local, national and international agencies to assist countries invest in youth development and the enhancement of their participation in national processes. UNESCO and other development partners can therefore play a very important role to help the countries in the region by drawing from good practices elsewhere in the world.


Allan Korongo

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