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Regional youth platforms are coordinating or umbrella organizations of youth organizations and in particular, national youth councils, in a given region. A national youth council is an umbrella organization for youth organizations active at the national level. Its role and function are to represent the interests of its member organizations to national authorities responsible for youth. As a coordinating body of organizations with nationwide membership, these organizations tend to consider themselves “representative.” In Africa, regional platforms have tended to be made up of nongovernmental youth organizations or student associations. Several platforms either cooperate or compete depending on circumstances—most often, African regional politics. Some have the support of international institutions. The African platforms face the challenge of becoming considered and accepted as partners in the work of the African Union, or they are regularly invited to participate in meetings organized by that institution. In addition, they are weakened by the fact that they are not systematically recognized by governments in African countries as representatives of young people.

African Youth Network

(No website)

Permanent Secretariat
B.P. 4542 Lomé, Togo
e-mail: raj_ayn@hotmail.com

The African Youth Network, established in December 1995, is a platform for nongovernmental organizations active on the African continent to discuss youth policy in areas such as the environment, trade, and poverty, through seminars, workshops, and regular publications. The organs of the network are the General Assembly, the Executive Council, the Permanent Secretariat, and the Specialized Committees. There are representatives from the northern, southern, central, western, eastern, and Indian Ocean regions of Africa.

All-Africa Students Union (AASU)

(No website)

8th Floor Bay 1, State House/P.O. Box M274
e-mail: aasu@nes.com.gh

AASU is a continental representative organization of democratic student unions founded in 1972 with 51 member unions from Africa. It is affiliated with the International Union of Students (IUS). AASU has a consultative status with UNESCO and it is UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)-accredited with UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). AASU develops working relations/cooperation with other subregional, regional, and international youth and student organizations as well as governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations on issues of common concern and interest: access to education, democracy, HIV/AIDS, information and communication technology in higher education in Africa, gender issues, and academic freedom.

Pan African Youth Union (PYU)

www.panafricanyouthunion.org (site under construction)

The Pan African Youth Union originates in the Pan African Youth Movement. It is the result of a profound process of renewal within the movement in light of the political transformations that have taken place on the African continent and in the world and the present and future challenges these imply. It was created at the Windhoek Congress in November 2003. The Pan African Youth Union is a platform for African youth engagement and mobilization. It strives to promote the aims of the African Union; to stimulate, coordinate, and support youth participation and activity in Africa; to contribute to development; to advocate for the needs and concerns of children and young people in Africa; and to contribute to the development of an African civil society. The Pan African Youth Union’s membership is largely made up of national youth councils. It is a member of the GCCC and is invited to the ICMYO.