The African Youth Charter was adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2006 and came into force on 8th August 2009. As of April 2013, 41 countries have signed the Charter out of which only 31 have ratified. The Charter was to address the growing need of youth empowerment, development and their participation in Africa's development. Youth constitute over 60% of Africa's population but their participation and empowerment is not guaranteed. The objective of the Youth Charter is to provide governments, youth, civil society and international organisations with a continental framework, which underlines the rights, duties and freedoms of youth in Africa. It also provides the parameters for development of national programmes and strategic plans geared toward youth empowerment.