A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa
Chapter One: ntroduction of the Book
The research that informs this book is an outcome of an inter-country project . This
project is a component of a
a collaboration between
regional initiative called the four development agencies
‘Restoring Peace Project’ running between April
2005 and June 2007. on the Rights of the
This initiative is based on the tenets of the UN Child, which asserts young people’s inalienable
Convention right to the
satisfaction of basic human needs, to protection, and to participation in affecting their lives. It also responds to the New Economic Partnership for Development (NEPAD) call for sustainable strategies to ensure peace and
matters Africa’s security
in Africa, vision for
recognising that young people’s Africa is critical to the success of
commitment to the these strategies.
The project supports war-affected young people in three countries (Angola, Burundi and Uganda) to improve their psycho-social and economic well-being and to participate alongside adults in peace-building processes. It encourages the three governments to respect and promote the rights of young people and advocates for the principle of ‘first call’ to be upheld and adequately resourced3. It focuses in particular on two main themes - gender-based violence and the promotion of youth citizenship - and seeks to address the regional dimensions of young people’s disadvantage in the three countries, by bringing youth leaders and adults together regionally to conduct joint research and advocacy under the inter-country project. The ‘Restoring Peace Project’ took place in Angola, Burundi and Uganda, countries in which long civil wars have had a tremendous impact on children and young people. While each context is unique, in each country there are many young people struggling to survive and to lead productive lives.
‘Restoring Peace Project’ has three country components, each led by a national-level organisation and each addressing the local manifestations of one of the project’s two themes. In Angola, the project works with youth in six of the most war-affected provinces: Huambo, Huila, Bie, Moxico, Kuando Kubango and Luanda. The mission of the Youth Ambassadors for Peace and Citizenship (JEPC) project in Angola is to actively engage young people in peacebuilding and the social reconstruction of their country by moving away from the adversarial approaches of the past, and promoting cooperative solutions through a collaborative structure involving civil society actors, government, youth associations, churches and political parties.
Defence for Children nternational – Canada (DC – Canada) is the Canadian section of the Geneva-based Defence for Children nternational. DC Canada
is dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of children and youth worldwide, and to fostering adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
DC -Canada, ACORD nternational, World Vision Uganda, ACORD Burundi, and Development Workshop (DW) Angola with funding from the Canadian nternational Development Agency (CDA) from the Canada Fund for Africa. 2
The notion of ‘first call’ arose out of the 990 UN World Summit for Children and reflected the commitment world leaders made then to give a high priority to the rights of children. 3