The first Forum of the African Young Greens was held between the 21st and the 25th of August, in Cotonou, Benin. The Forum gathered 53 representatives of different environmental and green youth movements from 7 African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger and Togo.
The meeting was a good opportunity for the Young Greens in Western Africa to exchange practices, share experiences and discuss their common problems.
The Forum was concluded with the voting approval of a Protocol proclaiming the establishment of the Federation of Young African Greens (FYAG), a network which now unites NGOs and youth wings of Green parties from all the countries present in Cotonou. A board made out of 7 country representatives, a Secretary General and a President was elected and presented with the task of further developing the newly set up network.
A European delegation, made out of 6 representatives from The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and The Green Forum of Sweden attended the event and observed the approval of the Protocol. By taking actively part in the Cotonou Forum, FYEG affirmed its commitment to support young Green movements all over the world.
Marie Madeleine Boni, the first elected President of FYAG and organiser of the Forum, maintained: “This Forum had as a concrete objective the set up of a network of environmental organisations in Africa and we are now very pleased to see that this aim was met. After 5 days of sharing experiences, we have now achieved a new vision of our role as Young Greens. Misery, poverty, wars, social mistreatment – these are problems encountered on a large scale in Africa and we are all aware of their devastating impact on our environment. Therefore, we are now committed to overcoming all these by working together.”
Marina Barbalata, Campaign Coordinator of FYEG and one of the European delegates at the Forum, added: “FYEG congratulates the African Young Greens on the birth of their network. Sustainable development is the long term vision working on solutions for the mutual problems we face.
Marie-Hélène Aubert, French Green Member of the European parliament and supporter of the conference, concludes: “Cooperation between Africa and Europe is a necessity for finding solutions to mutual problems. I am proud to see that the African Young Greens have united themselves and want to form a partnership with the Federation of Young European Greens to work together on a greener Africa and a greener world. I am looking forward to meeting them in the Nairobi Conferences of the Global Young Greens and Global Greens in 2007 and 2008”
The conference in Nairobi will take place in conjunction with the World Social Forum in January 2007. For more information, please check our the website of the Global Young Greens.