November 0 7 - 12, 2012, I was privileged to be part of the Youth Delegate shortlisted, following a rigorous and competitive selection process, to represent the youth-led development agency, RestlessDevelopment at the 2012 Ibrahim Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
Attended by over 400 high profile guests from civil society, youth-led organisations, government, business enterprises, UN and multi-lateral institutions from across the world; African [world] leaders discussed in depth on how to address some of the most pressing issues pertaining to African youth, that is youth employment, education and civic participation; with emphasis on how to transform youth energy into meaningful use.
My time spent while in Dakar, as a restless youth delegate trained by Restless development is an experience never to forget. It was fun, empowering and transforming. And above all, was the opportunity I had to share experience with youth activists, engage with some high profile persons across Africa as well as adding my voice in the debate on how young people can bring about social/community good.
Even after all, the question remains – how youth employment and education be improved?
Do young people have the necessary skills and knowledge to compete at the global scale? Yes! The time is now to translate youth potential into meaningful use.
The Ibrahim Forum is an annual high profile discussion meeting, which brings high profile guests across Africa and the world; to discussed and debate about Africa leadership and democracy. The forum over the years has awarded prizes for achievement in good leadership and democratic governance to African Heads of States. Previous laureates include President Joaquim Chissano (2007), President Festus Mogae (20008) and President Nelson Mandela (Honorary). Though in this year’s forum – no Africa Head of State was qualified to win the Mo Ibrahim prestigious award. However, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu received the 2012 honorary award for speaking and standing for truth and Justice.