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Zimbabwean woman secures AU ambassadorial post

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2021 at 05:38hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEAN Ms Cynthia Chingwena has been selected as the second cohort of African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAPs) to represent the Southern Africa region by the Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) Department of the African Union (AU).

The selection of AYAPs is a statutory process of the AU to implement the decision of the 33rd ordinary session of heads of state and government, held in February 2020, endorsing the Peace and Security Council's appointment of regional African Youth Ambassadors.

The AYAPs are mandated to promote youth participation at all levels of peace building across Africa for two years.

Despite her affiliation to South Africa where she has previously worked as a researcher in the Upper House of the South African Parliament; and currently works as a programme coordinator for a German political foundation, Ms Chingwena left Johannesburg for Addis Ababa, representing her country of origin, Zimbabwe.

Out of over 2 000 applicants, Ms Chingwena was short-listed as an AYAP candidate alongside 14 youths from Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe, Egypt, Liberia, Libya, Lesotho, Kenya, and Tanzania. For four days, the 15 finalists, three from each of Africa's five sub-regions, went through a rigorous screening process to test their knowledge on African governance, peace and security issues, technology, and climate change, as well as life skills, and character.

One candidate is selected per region, a race in which Ms Chingwena emerged victorious.

The African Union's Political Affairs, Peace and Security Division officially shared that the "candidates from Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe emerged ready to serve the #YouthforAfrica agenda from 2022 – 2024."

The event was graced by the Ethiopian Minister of Women and Social Affairs, Dr Ergoge Tesfaye and ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, the chairperson of the African Peace and Security Council.

Mr Jevin Pillay Ponisamy, the senior liaison officer at the SADC office at the African Union's headquarters in Ethiopia, expressed his confidence in Ms Chingwena's abilities and assured the SADC office's support during her tenure.

Ms Chingwena is currently an ambassador-elect and will subsequently be presented to the African Union Peace and Security Council following the Heads of States Summit to be held earlier in 2022. She is the first youth ambassador-elect from Zimbabwe and has expressed her commitment to youth inclusion in a brief acceptance statement, emphasizing that representing her country at the AU was an honour.

Ms Chingwena also reinstated her keenness to serve the diverse youths from the southern region on social media and will be focusing on coalition building for the domestication and implementation of the Continental Framework for Youth, Peace and Security and its mandate in Southern Africa.

Source - The Herald