Reporters: Annet Kampororo and Ange Umutoni
The session started with the moderator setting the stage by highlighting the session was a young people session so that everyone should feel free. Though adults are in the room, their role is to check if the food is ready and ensure coffee break was served. Presenters where then introduced.
Presenters highlighted that the largest global population were youth. The population of young people effected with HIV in this population is also significant. Sadly, young people are still being excluded in policy-making even in government organization where they work. Speakers highlighted the need for young people to have their capacity built to enable them be actively engaged with different response, and they need to have access to young friendly environments. Such environment supports active youth engagement in discussions when given the time and space, as they bring creativity to the table. Youth participation is considered as a right and not a favor.
There are lots of stakeholder engagement and investment in youth development. However, the efforts are currently uncoordinated, and their engagement is usually well funded. Investments should be in models that have been found to work. Those models should engage young people as partner and beneficiary at the same time; supports youth-led accountability. Investments should be in institutional development and not individuals.