After her nomination by the elected executive committee in 2017, Julianna Ratovoson, previously the vice president of the Pan-African Youth Union, is now the new head of the Pan African organisation since the 26th of April 2019, amidst a post electoral crisis, according to some.
In fact, only a few months ago, has the African Union made a statement to disassociate itself from PYU “due to observed irregularities” according to the African Union commission and other youth leaders.
The editor of the TPMagz recently got hold of the new leader and interviewed her, and this is what she had to say.
Good day Madam President, firstly congratulations. The executive committee has recently elected you, according to the constitution, as the new President of the Pan-African Youth Union. How was your mood in that moment? Did you expect it or did it come as a surprise to you?
My mood has been the same but with great responsibility to carry the voice of the biggest population in the continent.
Yes, it did come as a surprise, especially because I did not expect it, and it is all thanks to the team work, that all my colleagues have put their faith in me.
This nomination from the committee, gives you executive power of the organisation, and according to article 32, you only have 12 months to call for the ordinary or extraordinary congress. When is your due date to convene this event, highly anticipated by the African youth?
It have already been planning an extraordinary congress for a year now for the institutional reform of the organisation. Nevertheless, we consider the legal due date to call for a reform and elective congress.
Madam President, you know better than I, that a lot of young people have criticised the 2017 elections, when the current committee was elected to head the organisation. Do you believe there is a crisis? If yes, what is your opinion on the “crisis” of the PYU?
There is no crisis if you take into consideration the states, in the third meeting of the Special Technical Youth Committee, Sports and Culture of Alger, they ended the crisis recommending the African Union commission to reconsider their position, in the absence of a breach of the basic rules of the functioning of the AU and we continue to believe that the decision made by the AU is unjust and against the PYU because we were not given the right to be heard, which also violates the principles of a judicial base.
Recently, the African Union, through its commission, has nominated a special delegate from the African Union Youth and before its nomination made a statement to distance itself from the youth organisation, due to observed irregularities. Are you ready to fulfil the expectations of the AU, which is almost that of various leaders from the National Youth Boards?
We do not have a problem with the special delegate of the AU for the youth nor the officials of the AU, especially because we represent the youth.
In the same manner that there is a special delegate of the AU to the women and female representatives that sit in on summits of the heads of states, it is just a matter of legitimacy.
We are ready to fulfil the expectations of the AU and that of the leaders of the National Youth Boards, we have never had a problem with the AU, it has been more that the AU has been deceived against the PYU.
How many National Youth Boards support your committee since 2017?
We have the support of all the African NYBs, except there was a moment when there was an intent to manipulate a few youth leaders, which was later aborted.
Lastly, what are your ambitions for the future? Will you postulate as a candidate for the next elections that will be organised by the new executive committee?
I have the intention of completing the objectives that we have set at the beginning of our mandate.
I do not know whether I will be a candidate, the future will determine the choice between my ambitions and my obligations in my country.
We appreciate your time and your sincerity.
Interviewed by Doctor Njims.
The Pan-African Magazine