Editorial: The youth have the power to make a difference

The first edition of the YouthConnekt Africa Summit is underway and it will bring together over 2,500 delegates.

The first edition of the YouthConnekt Africa Summit is underway and it will bring together over 2,500 delegates.

The first YouthConnect Africa meeting that took place in 2012 was strictly a Rwandan affair, organised by the Government of Rwanda and One UN.

 

The youth make the biggest demographic bracket, therefore empowering them is the logical option. They need to be engaged in all aspects of society. But that would be impossible if their skills remained undeveloped and if access to finance and jobs remained just a pipe dream.

 

During the last summit that took place last year, youth empowerment and their importance captured the attention of 14 African countries who requested to get on board.

 

YouthConnect Africa has a very ambitious programme; it seeks to empower over 200 million young people on the continent. It is only through empowerment that they will be able to shape their future.

Right at this moment, Rwanda is gearing up for presidential elections. With nearly half of the 6.8 million registered voters aged between 18 and 30 years old, the future of this country, its prospects and fortunes will be determined by the youth.

Rwanda is a good case study of how misguided youth are capable of bringing a country on its knees. The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was spearheaded by the youth. But on the flip side of the coin, it is the youth who were on the forefront of stopping the Genocide and are now taking an active part of reshaping the country.

Let African youth attending the summit go back with a lesson, that it is in their power to determine the fortunes of their respective countries.

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