15 November 2008, conference report (1.8 MB)
African Students' Conference 2008
The 10th African Students' Conference was held on 15 November 2008 at
the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague. The theme of the conference was Urbanisation
and Human Security, and it was organised by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY
Peacebuilders) and The African Committee (TAC). The event brought together about 220
participants consisting of African Students studying in the Netherlands, the African
Diaspora, Dutch students and NGO representatives.
UNOY Peace builders would like to thank the Sponsors, Oxfam Novib, The Hague Municipality, Cordaid and Woudschoten Foundation; the ISS who hosted the conference and The African Committee (TAC) for helping organise the conference. Special thanks also goes to the speakers and facilitators for their invaluable input to the success of the conference and further, our sincere thanks to the participants who attended the conference.
Urbanisation and Human Security
The topic of this year was "Building Peace in Africa: Urbanisation and Human Security".
In September 2000, 147 heads of state and governments signed a global partnership, a set of
goals to be achieved by 2015, better known as the Millennium Development Goals, in an attempt to address the main threats to
the world’s development. Target 7/11 of the MDGs states the need to achieve "cities without
slums" and the need to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. The
decision to include this issue in the list of the biggest challenges to the world's social,
economic and political development highlights the importance of analysing the dangers posed
to human security by rapid urbanisation. The importance of the topic was further highlighted
recently when the United Nations noted the fact that 2008 would be a landmark-year for the
urbanisation process as, "by the end of this year, half of the world's 6.7 billion people
will live in urban areas".
With 300 million Africans living in urban settlements, a number which is expected to grow to approximately 500 million by 2015, the international community has slowly started to recognize the dangers arising from Africa’s rapidly increasing concentration of the population in urban areas, and the physical expansion of its cities, which are associated with low rates of urban economic growth [ref]. Urban crime and violence, in conjunction with unemployment, life in overcrowded areas, lack of access to safe water, sanitation or adequate solid-waste management and the absence of adequate public services and security provisions, are amongst the main challenges which the poorest segments of the African population living in urban areas face in their everyday lives.
The conference was addressed by renowned speakers from Africa and Europe. Among the speakers were:
After the presentations from the speakers, the participants participated in different workshops which consisted of:
|1.||Urban local governance|
|2.||Gender issues in urban settings|
|3.||Overcoming youth urban unemployment: education opportunities and career guidance for youth in urban areas|
|4.||Applicability of peace building to youth in urban settings: case examples|
|5.||Public and private security provision in urban spaces|
|6.||HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases in urban settings|
|7.||Role of national/local governments in addressing urban youth challenges|
The full day seminar was too rich to summarize fully on this page therefore please download the full report of the conference by clicking on the link at the top of this page. For more information on the ASC you can also contact UNOY Peacebuilders.
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