The Africa Conversation 1.0, the first in a series of virtual events on youth and leadership kicked off on Saturday, 15 May 2021 and was concluded on 22 May 2021.
The Africa Speakers Group (ASG) assembled a group of high-profile professionals and influencers from the continent for the virtual event. Prof PLO-Lumumba, Lawyer and Former CEO, Kenya School of Law, gave a keynote address on the first day. He also made an appearance for a dialogue session on the second day, Saturday, 22 May 2021. While Dr Jonathan Sandy, Chairman, Executive Board, Regional Centre for Governance and Security Policy Initiative- Accredited to the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council – ECOSOCC, Sierra Leone, delivered the closing day keynote presentation.
Other top speakers who featured at the event include Dr Ogho Okiti, Managing Director, BusinessDay, Nigeria; Dr Norah Clarke, Director, Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE), Universities South Africa; Shadrack Kubyane, Co-Founder, Coronet Blockchain, Nonny Ugboma, Social Development Consultant and Executive Director, Nondunna Limited; Adedoyin Balogun, CEO, Baldon Clothiers; Nicholas Bortey, CEO, Liranz Limited, Ghana; Faith Nwaobia, Founder and President, YouthUp Global; Laverne Thomas, General Manager, Talent Exchange and Infrastructure; Phetha Mchunu, National Chairperson for the EDHE Community of Practice for Studentpreneurs, South Africa; Esra Mohammed Shri, Ph.D. Student at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; Ayuba Iliya, Anchor and Content Producer, Nigeria Customs Broadcasting Network – NCBN and others.
The event covered four key topics:
- The Youth: Harnessing Africa’s most important resource.
- The economics and politics of youth population: Policy options for harnessing Africa’s youth population.
- Youths in Africa: What do they really need from their leaders and governments to thrive?
- AfCFTA: Where are the opportunities for the youth?
Commenting on the just-concluded event, Odinaka Iloh, Founder, Africa Speakers Group, said:
I’m the happiest person on earth today for being part of the successful hosting of this event. We must not take for granted the value that relationship brings to trade, part of what we have done today with the Africa Youth Conversation 1.0 is to kick-start a new channel of relationship for the African youth. I urge us to stay connected and remain focused on the task ahead.
Also, one of the youth representative speakers, Phetha Mchunu, had this to say,
I have learned a lot and I cherish the experience. The event was such a big success and we have taken notes to be implemented in our national organisation. Thank you [ASB] for the opportunity yet again to be a part of this important panel. Hats off to [ASB] for coordinating such an auspicious event, with such wise keynote speakers and the insightful guest panels as well.
Partners to the event include BusinessDay, Nigeria; Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education – EDHE, South Africa; Arbiterz, Nigeria and; YouthUp Global.
The Africa Youth Conversation is an initiative designed to provide an opportunity for regular engagement of African youths with policymakers, thought leaders, decision-makers, researchers, academics, the development community and media on broad issues of youth development within the continent with the purpose of providing actionable ideas, valid data, reports, etc and promoting coalesced actions towards optimally harnessing Africa “youth advantage”. It will also undertake to track and document youth-focused developments across the continent.