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Five keytakeaways from YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2022

It is rare to see so many young Africans all over the continent gathered together in the same place at the same time with purpose. 

During YouthConnekt Africa Summit this year, many young people from all over Africa, got the opportunity to attend different sessions that tackled various topics including climate change, digital economy, sexual reproductive health and mental health among others. 

Many young people attended the conference with eagerness to learn and unlearn, they came in great numbers with a sense of unity, a sense of being one Africa.  

As it has now ended, there are some key takeaways we should remember about this year’s summit. 

Taking Action 

Abigail Ceesay a young participate from the republic of Gambia attended the conference with the hope to “see other young people from Africa who are committed to the advancement of the continent and my expectations have been met.”  

She said that her key takeaway from the conference is that young people in Africa should definitely have a word in discussions involving them and their future.

“We should be adequately represented in public and private institutions and also multilateral institutions  and should be adequately represented in the political decision making process.”She added

Marvel from Jamaica stated that his key takeaway from the conference is that young people in Africa have to “create a better future to create a better society.”  

“Young people definitely have the possibilities to lead and to build a better future,” he said  

Joshua Kaputah, a delegate from Kenya, said that the summit is an eye opener to many young people, from the discussions that happened to different activities that were going on. 

“I did not get the opportunity to attend all the sessions but I think the one thing that really stuck out to me is that if we are unified as Africans, we can achieve whatever we want to achieve. “ 

“Young people are the trustees of the prosperity of our continent,” Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and culture, Rosemary Mbabazi said.  

Taking advantage of every opportunity 

Many people attending the conference took it as an opportunity to learn. In an Interview with the CEO of Generation Unlimited, Dr. Kevin Frey, he said that young people should start taking advantage of all opportunities that they are given. 

He added that during this era, young people have access to so many tools that they can leverage and build the skills that they need in every industry they aspire to be part of. 

“[For example] you have access to worldwide training. There are extraordinary opportunities that technology has brought to young people.” he stated. He added: “There are so many entrepreneurs taking advantage of digital technologies. It is hard, you have to work so hard and get a little bit of luck.” he added 

Dr Frey’s opinion was shared by many leaders during the Summit.

Having necessary discussions 

The summit’s different sessions tackled many different topics like mental and reproductive health, innovation among many others.  

It is imperative that as young people we tackle these different subjects with different perspectives so that the youth can actually achieve impact in their communities.  

During a session on rReproductive health and mental health, Minister Tabia M. Mwita from Zanzibar said that “Sexual reproductive health from a young age is key to having a healthier African youth.” 

But there needs to be those conversations about the different topics that can directly affect Africa’s communities and the globe at large. 

Having these necessary discussions that are stigmatized needs to be embraced in the education that young people receive and the education they give. 

It is important that young people combat stigma in their communities and everywhere for their wellbeing. 

Finding solutions  

It is true that Africa is facing different challenges like Climate change, unemployment and many more but as the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said: “Africa has problems but it is not a continent of problems.” 

Young people from all over Africa have been urged to find the solutions to the problems facing the continent.

The Country Director of the MasterCard Foundation in Rwanda, Rica Rwigamba said that “Africa’s future is now, and you are today’s leaders. We are counting on you.” 

Africa is better when it is unified 

Young people from all over Africa gathered to talk and work on different issues that directly affects them, and it is time to take bold actions in combating them but they must do it together.  

Nicolas Jaido from Jamaica said that one of his takeaways from the summit is that it is important that so many Africans can listen to the ongoing discussions and provide solutions as one. 

“I believe we can achieve so many things together if we participate together and also find the solutions together,” he said. 

In his speech; the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said that the country set a vision that helped it to reach the current progress. 

“We embraced principles of working together to fight division and build prosperity. This has become our purpose.” 

This can also be Africa’s purpose. 

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