17th May 2017, Dar es salaam.
United Nations Tanzania in collaboration with the African Network of Youth Policy Experts, Youth of United Nations of Tanzania and Africa Youth for SDGs hosted a capacity building workshop on SDGs engagement, accountability, and monitoring for Tanzanian youths SDGs Champions. The event gathered 35 young people from Civil societies, Youth-led Organizations and academic institutions around Dares salaam. The primary objective of the session was to improve local youth engagement in the SDGs to support, monitor and evaluate the progress of SDGs towards sustainable development in Africa, increase capacity of the youths in Africa through training and mentoring on community engagement in Sustainable development, establish strategies to share and implement approaches that works and encourages creative ways to implement activities that will contribute towards the realization of SDGs, co-create approaches to record and share knowledge and experiences with the aim of multiplying strategies that work best in order to realize the SDGs globally and that in the end the youths are able to identify future opportunities for youth engagements in discussions and community engagements that enhances the value of youth philanthropy towards sustainable development while strengthening stakeholder relations and keeping the youth at pace with policy developments using a common language and shared purpose that will engage the youth in Africa for a prosperous 2030.
The session was facilitated by Mr. Joe Bonga, SDGs Expert from the Africa Youth for SDGs (Kenya); who began by introducing the participants to SDGs in relation to MDGs and the difference between the two that followed by an introduction to SDGs and the need for accountability. He said, “I believe these goals provide the best opportunity for Africa and the world as a whole especially for the marginalized groups.” He further reiterated that the youths and women can play an important role considering their contributions towards day to day lives in Africa. He also emphasized that the youth demographic dividend is an asset towards the realization of the SDGs and we must create awareness, build partnerships, monitor the implementation process while holding the duty bearers accountable yet leaving no one behind.
Emmanuel Ernest Chenge, Secretary General of Patriotism Revival Initiative and an advocate of SDGs shows his gratitude to the program organizers and contributed by saying: “I wish to see more youths setting up even their 2 hours or week doing actions that support SDGs.” He added that it does not need a proposal to do awareness programs.
Sitti Abbas Mtemvu, Founder of Sitti Tanzania Foundation and Author of the book ‛The Tears of Sitti′ expressed his positive feelings about the workshop and raise the need of having more of this kind of training on SDGs. She further said that “ I learned so many things but what caught my attention was that when comes to partnership; the most important aspect is that both parties should have common interests.” She added that peace is a very vital aspect in achieving SDGs and without peace, there can not be development.
Hadia Mgaya, a student of University of Dar es salaam said that she was delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in the capacity building. She said that ‟we have discussed a lot of the SDGs and how we can get everyone to fully participate in the implementation of the goals.”
She further said that she was happy to see the facilitator talking about the involvement of the people and that they should feel part of the process of implementing the goals which can be achieved through access to the information regarding SDGs.
Irene Veda, alumnae of Kingston University London, shared her experience of the session as she said: ‟The SDGs Training Workshop gives us an insight of the reality of the problems existing and trains the African Youth to attach themselves to a practical way of putting things into acting by starting small, going local, acting local and being effective onto the area focused.”
The session was participatory in the way that participants were engaged in group discussions, and experience sharing on SDGs as well as asking questions. Participants thanked the Organizer of the event, Mr. Seleman Kitenge from the African Network of Youth Policy Experts and the United Nations Tanzania for having provided the venue and logistical support, also they showed their appreciation to Mr. Joe Bonga from Kenya and wished similar activities to be organized every month.
Written by Seleman Yusuph Kitenge
Youth Development Expert,
PGD – Management of Foreign Relations, BA in Sociology (Hons), Dipl. Public Sector Financial Mgt.
Director of Media & Communication, AfriNYPE.