Young people from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and other countries across Africa are scheduled to participate in a conference holding August 16 and 17 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The conference with theme: “Back to the Future- Young People Reimagining today’s Politics”, is being organised by the Baywood Foundation to enlighten African youths about the leadership roles they must play to lift the continent out of poverty.
Its founder, Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe, said at a briefing in Lagos on Tuesday that the conference would be used to herald the organisation’s programme to boost youth participation in political leadership.
He said: “Baywood Foundation in collaboration with the African Union (AU) is organising an interactive Conference on the August 16 and 17 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the critical issue of increased participation of youths in politics and governance.
“Countries represented include Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mali, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Kenya and Tanzania. It is our fervent hope that the conference will stimulate effective discourse to drive a sustainable action agenda on this issue. This conference has been designed to be stakeholder-resonant and appropriately representative of the pan-African situation on this critical issue.
“A major outcome of this Conference would be a pathway to the actualization of a pioneering Baywood Foundation initiative which not only creates inclusive opportunities for youth but also develops their intrinsic capabilities for future leadership roles. Baywood Foundation is proposing this initiative which offers leadership development and a path to greater involvement in political governance for youths throughout Africa.”
Regarding the initiative, a yearlong internship for young Africans, Ibe said the Foundation would post selected youths as interns in government establishments, political organisations, agencies, or even private sector to learn the ropes of governance.
He said they would be paid stipends for the period but called on the AU to endorse the training so as to ensure that they are employed after the one year.
“We do not want to start the programme without the buy-in of the AU because after one year and they are not employed, it will not be good,” he said.
Since its inception in 2005, Ibe said Baywood Foundation had invested a lot in rural areas in the areas of education, health care, economic empowerment and others.
He said the Foundation in its 14 years of operation had employed teachers for community schools, provided financial educational support and to less privileged children to attend school.
“Right now, the foundation has 20 teachers on its payroll. There are community schools without teachers. So what we do is engage these teachers and move them to these communities.
“We have primary school scholarships for children whose parents cannot buy uniforms, books, others. We believe in intervening at primary level. This fundamental support – that may be N500, here, N1,000 there goes a long way to ensure children go to school. I found out that N100,000 can do a lot in the rural communities. When you spend N1million you reach out to many people in the rural areas more than urban areas,” he said.
Source The Nation