On 23 October 2019, the event under the theme” Promoting Volunteerism and Exchanges in Africa” will take place in Kigali, Rwanda. The event is co-organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, African Union, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Secretariat of the Plan of Action to Integrate Volunteering into the 2030 Agenda, and African - German Youth Initiative (AGYI) GIZ support program. The event will be a platform to discuss how Africa can position volunteering as one of the mechanisms which make a greater contribution in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
It is estimated that there are 12.1 million full time equivalent volunteers in Africa with the highest proportion of people volunteering informally (86 per cent). Several countries in the continent have formulated and adopted volunteer policies and laws to strengthen an enabling environment for volunteering to thrive in Africa. However, further efforts are needed to collect evidence on the contribution and impact of volunteering to issues such as youth development and conflict resolution.
Therefore, the three day event will be designed to discuss the improvement of data and evidence collection and measurement in Africa and across the globe. This is to showcase volunteering as an effective “people-driven” development modality in the current and emerging global context.
Government of Rwanda, African Union, United Nations Volunteers will open the event by welcoming speeches and introducing the event.
The first day-round table will open the discussion round promoting volunteering in Africa. The discussion will showcase national and grassroot experiences and discuss the continental trends of volunteering in Africa and across the globe.
It will also explore the definition of volunteering in Africa and linking it and youth into the development agenda and discuss what challenges they face.
Second day sessions will be to assess and validate the progress on the continental volunteer mapping platform which will capture volunteering initiatives across the continent. A setup of a continental volunteer linkage platform will also be proposed during the event.
The day will end with a session leads by UNV and IFRC. The session will give an overview of volunteering practices in the global South, particularly in Africa.
The last day of the programmed will be covered by the POA secretariat. The roundtable – reimagining volunteering will facilitate thematic dialogue on volunteering for sustainable development through evidence, data and innovative approaches which consequently will inform the forward thinking for the GTM2020.
The outcomes of this event will help shape volunteering future towards the 21st century in the context of the global 2030 and the continental 2063 Agendas. It will also feed into the continental and global synthesis report for the global technical meeting, in July 2020 at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. UNV contributes to peace and development by mobilizing volunteers, advocating for volunteerism globally and encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.
UNV’s vision is a world where volunteerism is recognized, within societies, as a way for all people and countries to achieve peace and development through the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion.