Close this search box.

Memorable moments from YouthConnekt Africa 2022 summit opening day 

The YouthConnekt Africa summit  2022 has been officially opened. As the summit kicked off on the 13th of October, many young Africans from all over the continent gathered in Kigali in what felt like a sense of unity.  

A total of 9000 African youths with purpose and potential came across the continent to attend this summit which also brought together different dignitaries.  

Different activities happened but there are the most memorable ones that stick to mind. 

Wavin’   flags 

One of the memorable moments happened with a quick and  good workout session. “Wavin’ flag” by K’aan blasted all speakers in BK Arena, and many delegates and attendees took it to the dance floor to showcase well… their waving flags. 

With a proud smile on their faces, they carried their colorful flags to the stage dancing to the song and enjoying time with each other. In that particular moment, it was not  Nigeria, Guinea Bissau Nigeria, Kenya and so many others, it was Africa. 

People from all over Africa gathered in this summit proudly showing off where they are coming from

Frankie the dinosaur 

During the conference, an unexpected animal showed up. One that has been declared to be extinct for a million of years now. 

Frankie the dinosaur, the fun animal is a symbol of concern for the planet. It is an initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a campaign to solve the climate change crisis  labeled “Do not choose extinction”.  

Frankie the Dinosaur entered the room with a sign on his face that said the exact same thing as his campaign’s purpose.The sign read “Do not choose extinction.” 

With the help of an interpreter, Frankie delivered a quick message regarding taking climate action and the involvement of the youth.  

“Save the world from the blink of a climate crisis,” his interpreter, the moderator Mackeda Mahadeo said. 

“Do not choose extinction,” added. “We need to make an army of young people that will solve the problem of Africa.”  

He travels to talk about the urgent climate actions that need to be taken. He recently traveled to New York during the United Nations General Assembly to urge leaders to act on the climate crisis now and discuss the urgent need for fossil fuel subsidy reform.

Frankie is a reminder that urgent climate action needs to be taken

Guest of honor entrance 

As the room felt quiet for a few minutes, everyone was wondering who the guest of honor we were awaiting was. 

After a few but stinging minutes of suspense, the host Makeda Mahadeo announced that the special guest of honor had entered the premises. 

 “Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to welcome his excellency, the president of Rwanda,” she announced 

The president then made his way, and the crowd stood up as they cheered since his presence had not been anticipated by many. As he entered the court, cheers sounded from all over the place and chants started “Muzehe wacu!” meaning our father as he waved.  

The presidents presence was highly appreciated since it was not anticipated by many

Maxwell Gomera’s story 

UNDP Representative in Rwanda, Maxwell Gomera delivered a touching and inspiring speech. He recounted the story of his mother who used to sell tomatoes to support her family. 

His  mother could not get the investment she needed for her business since no one would offer such opportunities at the time “Let alone to a woman,” Gomera said.

“No bank would take a chance on her, and it failed to grow to the potential it could have. 

Eventually, she had to give up on part of her dream,” he said 

He said he used to help her with her business but since she lacked the investment she needed; ‘her business stayed small, her dreams stayed small’. 

Gomera emphasized that young people are facing the same challenges, just like his mother. “Like my mother, young people do not have the access they need. 42% fail to get that funding, these are the things we can solve with the right leadership.” 

He proceeded to state how young people should be facilitated in getting investments to take their businesses to the next level since more than 80% in Africa do not reach the level. 

He concluded by giving an inspiring remark. “Although she [his mother] did not live long enough, the son she supported is now the designated representative of the UNDP,” said Gomera. 

The UNDP representative emphasises that it is imperative to fund and invest in the youth

Taking the rightful place

The Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, Rigathi Gachagua, took the attention of many while delivering a wonderful and thoughtful speech. 

He inspired young people attending to take part in the decision making in all areas of life “Take your rightful place in decision making.” 

Gachagua went on to say that young people are capable. He made a demonstration of what he was talking about since he proceeded to introduce twelve young leaders including two women from Kenya he has come with, that have immense responsibilities. 

With his demonstration and introduction  Gachagua revealed that he just wanted “ to demonstrate to the youth of Africa that it is possible for you to take your rightful place on the decision making table.” 

The attendees laughed as he asked the President of Rwanda,  Paul Kagame, to host the YouthConnekt summit next year in Nairobi. 

Kenya’s deputy president firmly belives that young people are capable

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Straight out of Twitter