Youth Bridge Foundation has launched the 10th anniversary celebration of the African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC) in Accra.
The AYGC is a four-tier leadership grooming programme for African and Diaspora youth. These include leadership grooming, cascade of mentorship, community impact and networking.
As part of the celebration, an eight-day African Youth and Governance conference will be held from August 5th – 12th to bring together youth from about 30 African countries for deliberation on issues that will move ‘Africa Beyond Aid’.
Given the theme ‘Mobilising Africa’s Youth to Build a Continent Beyond Aid’, Executive Director of YBF Seth Oteng noted that it is very possible to move Africa beyond Aid. He said the theme emphasises the critical needs to pool resources of young people to transform the continent and strive toward Africa’s aspirations beyond aid.
According to him, mobilising the youth population presents a great opportunity for creating an effective platform in the political economy, building resilience of young people, and addressing the root-causes of many key challenges facing them. This, he noted, provides an opportunity for Africa to reshape its destiny anchored on its greatest assets – which are the youth.
The summit is expected to have about 50 diaspora youth. A highlight of the summit will be the Youth Economic Summit, which will focus on African beyond Aid on the wheels of digitised entrepreneurship.
Mr. Oteng noted that digitisation has become an important part of world development and therefore African youth must be abreast of the fast-paced digital revolution.
He added: “Government cannot do it all alone, so what we are saying as part of the conversation is that there is a call for collaborative efforts in addressing these issues. Corporate Africa and corporate citizens must come on board to support civil society organisations to do that. Those in the diaspora must keep coming back and imbibe the exposures they have and opportunities they’ve been exposed to so other African youth can help development of the whole continent”.
On his part, Board Member Juilio De Mederios noted that the attitude of receiving aid from other countries by Africa must change. He said: “We must see them as partners because we need each other. That is what partnership is about. They always look for opportunities and we look for aid, but this is wrong. We need to restart the clock.
“Gone are the days when the youth were not part of the decision-making process; the aim of this AYGC is to bring together all youth to discuss the continent. All youth in Africa face similar problems, so they must sit and deliberate and discuss what bothers them. That is what will be incorporated in governance.”
He said the aid architecture is shrinking, and therefore to have an African beyond aid the youth must be the drivers of it. This, he added, will be an excellent legacy for Africa.
Also present was the Deputy Director of Diaspora Affairs, Nadia Adongo Musah, who shared her experience of living in the diaspora and how she has returned to contribute her quota to the nation’s development.
She admonished all diasporans to return to their roots while in their youth to as well contribute their quota to development of the African continent.
She noted: “There is a generational gap between the first and second generations. This is because the first generation are a group of us that always bring money to Ghana. We have a second generation that might never bring anything back. We must be able to tie our second generation to start looking back to Ghana specifically, to know and understand that this is their roots no matter what. So, we go around and speak to students in the diaspora to mobilise them and share with them programmes that government has set in place which they can come back to and contribute their skills and knowledge”.