Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The International Day for Democracy: Call to Africa's youth

The African Union Youth Chapter arranged a symposium for Africa's
youth on creating #The_Africa_We_Want and 'Silencing the Gun'

Trending on social media, #DGTrends had the youths across the
continent sharing their thoughts and dreams on the Africa we envisage.

The conclusion of today's event is that African youth are more than
ready for democracy and they are more than willing to contribute
towards Africa's socio-economic progress.

The Voluntary Mentorship Program, #VMP noted the following from the
consultative forum;

1. Youth in Africa do not have the economic space that they deserve.
As such, youth have been forced into desperate living making them
willing mercenaries in perpetrating religious and political violence.

2. Youth in Africa though capable and full of ideas, do not have the
heroes and mentors to guide them. With the generation of Nkrumah,
Nyerere and Mandela replaced by neo-dictators hungry for power,
African youths have no one to look up to.

3. Modernisation and globalization have taken away much of the
African identity.
Though the majority of youths profess to be 'Proudly African' the
dress sense, ideology and attitude to life has been westernized.
The result has been a neo-western African with no distinct values.
Without an identity, youths are more than willing to follow than to lead.

4. Weak institutions to support democracy, governance and aid youth programs.
Most governments have sketchy policies on youth but very little action
is taken to empower them. Legislature and institutions exist but there
is inertia on the part of African governments to deliver.

Democracy and good governance which are key enablers remain evasive.
Most governments have set up institutions but most of them are not
independent enough and are abused political wrangles and power
struggles at the expense of the ordinary citizens.

With the above mentioned notes, we call upon the African Union and
member states to start moving towards addressing the challenges faced
by African youth if we are to succeed in 'Silencing the Gun' and
stopping Al Shabaab or Boko Haram.

Thank you

Ahmed Shafiq
Facilitator: Voluntary Mentorship Program

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