Empowering young voices: Commonwealth Charter Workshop under way in the Kingdom of Eswatini

18 June 2024
Eswatini workshop

A Commonwealth initiative to help young people better understand the values of the Commonwealth Charter is being held in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

The two-day workshop is a significant step towards fulfilling the Secretary-General's mandate to strengthen youth-inclusive political dialogues and peace-building processes, in accordance with the Commonwealth’s goals of peace, democracy and sustainable development - as referenced in the charter.

Delivering his keynote address to more than 50 young leaders across the country, Assistant Secretary-General Prof Luis Franceschi described the Charter as beautifully setting out the values and principles which Eswatini and the Commonwealth's other 55 member states regard as the core elements of the Commonwealth family.

He said:

“To our youth participants here today, I commend your dedication to understanding and promoting the values of the Commonwealth. Your presence is testament to your commitment to shaping a brighter future - not only for yourselves but for generations to come. Dear participants, during your time together, I encourage each of you to engage actively, exchange ideas freely, and challenge yourselves to think innovatively. Your contributions today will shape the Charter’s relevance for our beloved Eswatini, and impact national development in the years ahead.”

Luis Eswatini

The workshop was opened by the Kingdom of Eswatini's Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Jane Mkhonta-Simelane, representing the Deputy Prime Minister.

She said:

"As you will already know, ours is an incredibly young nation, with over 70% of our population below the age of 35. So, such initiatives, align with His Majesty King Mswati III's Government policy and ongoing programmes on youth development. This workshop speaks exactly to that vision as young people drawn from all corners of Eswatini, will, over the next three days, lead conversations aimed at fast-tracking their development and that of their peers."

The workshop was organised with the National Youth Council and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs. The Minister Hon Bongani Nzima, who is the official host of the workshop, commended the Commonwealth, and all stakeholders, for their commitment to prioritising youth empowerment and inclusive processes in the Kingdom - and young people, for coming in numbers to not only listen but to also actively engage as they build their capabilities as leaders.

The Commonwealth Charter was signed in 2013 and emphasises the importance of amplifying young people's voices in promoting respect, understanding, and constructive dialogues. 

Media contact

  • Temitope Kalejaiye, Public Relations and Engagement Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat

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