The Afro-Arab youth festival opened on Thursday in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. The meeting brings together, for the second time in seven years, delegates from more than 62 countries. Youths ranging in age from 18 to 25 will engage in musical events and sports. They will also discuss serious topics such as HIA/AID aand human trafficking. 

Henry Mukasa is a Ugandan journalist covering the event for the ?New Vision? newspaper. He told VOA?s Akwei Thompson that the objective of the conference is ?to forge solidarity between Africans and Arabs in the world.?

On the agenda are wide ranging issues such as human rights , tourism, unemployment, poverty and diseases including HIV/Aids.

The opening ceremony, presided over by Uganda?s President Yoweri Museveni, was attended by ministers from several African countries including Yemen, Sudan, Central African Republic, as well as representatives from the African Union and the East African Community. The closing ceremony on Monday will be presided over by Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.