Uganda will host the offices of the Afro Arab Youth Council (AAYC) in the East African region.
The area covers nine countries including Uganda, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Eritrea.
AAYC started in March 2004 after a historic festival held in Khartoum, Sudan, to instill solidarity among the masses of young people in the Arab world and the African continent.
It also seeks for a more practical approach in adopting its pressing issues and to provide realistic solutions which correlate with the current times in both Millennium Development and the Youth Policy in different member countries.
The headquarters were opened at the National Youth Council headquarters in Ntinda, Kampala.
Justifying the reason for choosing Uganda to house the organization’s offices, AAYC Secretary-General, Eng Huzyfa AlMutassim El Hassan, said Uganda was considered because of its strategic position and political stability.
“In East Africa, we established that Uganda deserved to host our coordination offices because East Africa elongates from Djibouti to Burundi and this makes Uganda strategically located geographically. It sits in the middle of the East African region,” he said.
“Also, historically, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni played a very big role in the formation of AAYC and he is still the serving president of Uganda. It is important for the offices to be put in his country so he continues guiding the youth in East Africa,” he added.
AlMutassim added that: “On average, if you look at the nine countries, Uganda is relatively more peaceful compared to others. There is peace, it is politically stable. We wouldn’t wish to shift our offices from one country to another, and so, we wanted a peaceful country.”
After the launch, the AAYC Secretary-General was led to Masaka by the Council’s Coordinator for Eastern Africa, a Ugandan, Ibrahim Kitatta, where he addressed over 1,000 youth at Maria Flo in Makasa town.
AlMutassim rallied the young people to expand their plans and aspirations to places beyond their local areas and as well work towards the unity of Africans.
“We are one Africa, one continent, we are one youth voice one African continent. To realize this, we need to begin championing for Africa without borders. We must ensure that that becomes our gospel because it is us the youth in production, education and all other sectors. So, we need markets and exposure beyond our countries,” he added.
The team thereafter engaged with the government Chief Whip in Parliament, Ruth Nankabirwa who guided that Uganda and Africa have elevated from the stage of building the foundation to that of trading in an Africa without borders.
She said Africans ought to transport and sell their goods across the continent without passports and tariffs since they are one people.
AlMutassim later engaged Minister Haruna Kasolo on how AAYC can help the Ugandan youth to take a positive step in economic transformation, to which the minister asked him to ensure continuous engagement between AAYC headquarters and their Kampala offices and his office to ensure sharing strategic information on developing the youth.
In February 2019, a delegation of Afro-Arab Youth Council met with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe. The delegation was led by Abdulhadi Elhwig.