Chikwawa: Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD), a local Nongovernmental Organization has described the just ended five days African Leadership Summit under the Barack Obama Foundation as an eye opener to most young people in the world.
The gathering which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa saw participation of 200 young leaders from 44 countries across Africa as part of a one-year leadership development and civic engagement programme.
Speaking on Friday evening when he arrived from the summit, YCD Executive Director, Francis Folley said the programme was designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change and explore new ways to tackle the biggest problems in their communities.
We have our own values that through the forum in South Africa, we felt the youth of today are the ones who can make the future possible. It’s our belief to say unless the youth in the country are at the centre helping drive the much comprehensive changes needed, we as a country can’t achieve the future we want, he said.
Folley pointed out that the summit was a wakeup call for the youth to take an action.
One of the problems in Malawi and indeed in Africa is when we are talking of youth participation we feel its confrontation to the government leaders and even officials. But thus not it, we are missing the whole purpose because the highest office in the land in every country is not that of the president, nor that of the minister or that of the member of parliament but that of the citizens, the Executive Director said.
He said there was a need for the youth to seriously ask themselves what they were doing as youth to occupy that highest office of the land.
The whole purpose why we had the summit with the former US President and indeed different signatories was to encourage us youth to say we are the ones the world has been looking for, Folley said.
The gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa witnessed presentations from billionaire philanthropist Aliko Dangote, Former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, Former South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA