In September of the year 2000, leaders of 189 countries met at the United Nations in New York and endorsed the Millennium Declaration, a commitment to work together to build a safer, more prosperous and equitable world. The Declaration was translated into a roadmap setting out eight time-bound and measurable goals to be reached by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), namely:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
Since the year 2015 is fast approaching, the world leaders this time decided to make the formulating of the next MDG’S more inclusive and participatory through incorporating the voices of the civil society. In order to achieve this, young people have been selected as the important group. In Africa over 60 percent of the population is made up of young people and their participation in this process is critical as they form the majority population. They are Africa’s best development asset over the coming decades! . A sample of 10 countries in Africa will collect 15 000 voices each of young people, these are South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi. These 15 000 voices collected from the 10 different countries including South Africa will be submitted to the high level panel of the Secretary General of the United Nations to shape the post 2015 MDG’s.
In South Africa, Africa Unite has been selected by African Monitor who are the pan African Secretariat on the post 2015 MDG’s, to champion and launch the Voice Africa’s Future campaign with the goal of providing the youth of South Africa a platform to have their voices heard on the post 2015 MDG’s. The campaign plans to collect 15,000 voices of youth from across South Africa in response to the question: What is your hope or dream of a better future for you and Africa?
In order to capacitate selected youth enumerators from Africa Unite, on the 12th of August Mr Masiiwa Rusare and Mr Yared Tseday, both from African Monitor, held a one day training session with the objective of explaining to the enumerators how to use data sheets to manually record the voices of young people and carry out the survey effectively whereby the voices should be verifiable.
Mr Masiiwa Rusare during his intervention said that ‘according to the World Bank Report of 2011, over 200 million Africans are now officially designated as youth (15-24 years), making up 20% of the total African population. With these statistics in mind Mr Masiiwa added that the United Nations wants the initiative to be participatory giving the opportunity to everyone from different backgrounds to raise their voices.
Mr Masiiwa Rusare’s presentation was followed by Mr Yared Tseday who introduced the questionnaire which is going to be used on the field and explained every single detail of the survey and potential difficulties that the enumerators may encounter. Furthermore more information was given on the MDGs and there was a ‘question and answer session ‘whereby the enumerators had the floor.
Finally from the enumerators point of view, they said that they are now better equipped with the knowledge and techniques of administering the questionnaire. It has to be noted that the survey has already begin in the Western Cape Province and be ready to come across our experienced enumerators for the 30 days to come!
Some of the enumerators of Africa Unite with their T-shirt
Note: This enumerators’ training will also be conducted in Eastern Cape on the 16th of August and in Kwazulu-Natal on the 17th of August.