|Assessing the first ten-year implementation plan of the Agenda 2063: A prospective analysis of Peace, security and youth leadership in Africa
The Africa Institute of South Africa, a Research Institute within the Human Sciences Research Council and the Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in the School of Humanities and Social sciences at the United States International University-Africa in Kenya cordially invites emerging scholars, graduate students, and youth leaders in the public and private sectors in the African continent to submit abstracts for its 12th Africa Young Graduates and Scholars Conference which is scheduled to run from Monday 6 February 2023 to Wednesday 8 February 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for the conference is ‘Assessing the first ten-year implementation plan of the Agenda 2063: a prospective analysis of peace, security and youth leadership in Africa’. While abstracts should focus on governance, peace, security and youth leadership on the continent, prospective conference participants are welcome to link these aspects to any of the 15 priority goals which the AU had earmarked for the first 10 years of Agenda 2063. These goals are: (1) an Integrated high-speed train network connecting all African capitals, (2) An African virtual and E-university, (3) formulation of a commodities strategy, (4) establishment of an annual African forum, (5) establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area by 2017, (6) the African passport and free movement of people, (7) implementation of the Grand Inga Dam Project, (8) the Pan-African E-Network, (9) silencing the guns by 2020, (10) Africa outer space strategy aims to strengthen Africa’s use of outer space to bolster its development, (11) establishment of a single African air transport market and (12) the establishment of the African financial institutions, (13) Cyber security, (14) Great African Museum and (15) Encyclopaedia Africana.
The seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 recognise the importance of inclusive growth, peace and security on the continent. Agenda 2063 has set goals and priority areas for the first ten-year implementation plan. The AU is hard-pressed to achieve all the goals set out in the first ten-year implementation plan. In this context, the key is not to achieve all these milestones, but rather to ensure that mechanisms are in place to maintain the implementation of these projects and to monitor and evaluate the implementation plan. Recognising the enormity of monitoring the implementation plan, 2017 AU Heads of State summit decided to expand the mandate of the African Peer Review Mechanism – APRM to include the monitoring of the implementation plan of Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030 in Africa.
The changing power dynamics on the global stage and an increasing need for the people of the continent to constantly engage with their political leaders necessitate a regular evaluation of what has been done and the readjusting of strategies to achieve all the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 by the year 2063. Recognising that missed development opportunities are embedded in the fundamental problem of democratic governance deficit, there is no gainsay that weak governance and its associated political instability, insecurity and lack of peace hinder development and socio-economic and cultural development on the continent. Thus, for Africa to achieve all the aspirations outlined in Agenda 2063, the prioritisation of democratic governance, strong institutions and the presence of the state in all the nooks and crannies of the continent are critical. For this to be achieved, there must be an implementation plan and a monitoring and evaluation framework that aims to ensure that the continent is on track to achieve the kind of continent that we want by 2063. Though the short-term, medium-term and long-term implementation matrix of Agenda 2063 indicates the steps the continent needs to take to achieve these aspirations, challenges persist.
While many have lauded the AU’s decision to expand the mandate of the APRM to include monitoring and evaluation of Agenda 2063, there is a growing concern that the current structure of the APRM is not suitable to monitor the implementation plan of Agenda 2063 explicitly and those of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. Three key issues are important here. First, the APRM was specifically conceived as a tool for policy reform and may not have the necessary technical expertise to monitor, for example, the execution of grand public works projects such as the high-speed train network or the Grand Inga Dam. In such a case, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), formerly NEPAD is the appropriate AU Agency to carry out such tasks. Against this backdrop, the conference seeks to suggest appropriate policy levers and direction that are important to ensure that goals set out by Agenda 2063 are monitored by specialised and appropriately skilled agencies of the AU and perhaps beyond. Second, it is imperative that an ideal monitoring system has an inherent capacity and ability to deliver timeous reports on all countries within its remit. With over 54 countries on the continent, it may be inordinate to expect timeous reports on the implementation of the immediate goals of Agenda 2063. Against this background the conference will interrogate alternative approaches that include the role of RECs and individual countries in the nuances of monitoring the implementation of Agenda 2063. The third challenge is the absence of non-state actors in the monitoring process. While civil society organisations played important roles in the formulation of the various aspirations of Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030, their role in the monitoring of their implementation is fluid and at best lacking. The conference will explore how civil society organisations and other non-state actors can play meaningful roles in monitoring the implementation of the various aspirations of Agenda 2063.
The 12th AYGS Conference aims to engage with these challenges using research-based scholarly reflections to contribute to policy evaluation, learning and recommendation. The conference organisers invite abstracts and panel proposals on pertinent aspects of the first ten-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.
The conference programme will be organised around the following sub-themes:
1. Infrastructure development, communication and youth agency in Africa
2. Silencing the guns and the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area in Africa; prospects and challenges
3. Governance, peace and the free movement of goods, services and people.
4. Climate change and sustainable development in Africa.Please specify for which sub-theme you would like your abstract or panel proposal to be considered. Abstracts or panel proposals should not be longer than 300 words and should include full details (name/s, title, institutional affiliation, position, e-mail, and telephone number) of the authors, presenters, or panel organisers as appropriate.
Abstracts that speak to scholarly reflections and/or policy engagements should contain concise statements of:
Issues: A summary of the issue(s) addressed by the abstract.
Description: A description of the actors, options, experiences, and/or advocacy.
Lessons: Outcomes and implications.
Call to action: Possible next steps or recommendations.Abstracts that report research findings should contain the following concise statements:
Background: The description of the problem/hypothesis/objectives.
Methods: Study methods used, or approaches taken.
Results: Specific results in summarised form.
Conclusions: Statement about the main outcomes.
Abstracts for reporting on strategies/projects should contain the following concise statements:
Background: Short statement summarising the issue(s) addressed by the abstract.
Methods: A brief description of the project, experience, program, or research.
Results: A brief description of the results or lessons learned.
Conclusions: A brief statement of next steps/recommendations.Abstracts will be assessed against the criteria of originality, quality, relevance and potential impact. To enable adequate space for discussions, engagements, and networking, only a limited number of abstracts will be selected for presentation.
The deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals is 31st October 2022.
Authors of selected abstracts and panels will be notified by 15 November 2022.
The deadline for submission of final papers is 31st January 2023.
Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail in Microsoft Word toAYGS2023@hsrc.ac.zaFor inquiries regarding the conference, please contact Dr Check Achu, on email:firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Moses Onyango, on email: email@example.com