By Paa Kwesi B. Inkumsah
Ghana Chapter coordinator of Africa Unbound
The Africa Unbound organized a very successful seminar on the 30th of May,which comprised a key part of the AFDB meeting this year, whose theme is “Africa and the emerging global landscape: challenges and opportunities” held at the Arusha International Conference Centre.
Arusha city is a hive of activity, with business persons and residents saying they last witnessed this kind of hustle and bustle during the Sullivan Summit in 2008.
The opportunity to be part of the African unbound delegation is one that i eagerly looked forward to. Africa Unbound’s director Dr. Rahel Kassahun chose Kenya,Ghana,Nigeria and Ethiopia to be part of the delegation to attend the 47th Annual meeting of the Africa Development bank.
On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi on transit to Arusha,it was quite refreshing meeting with Muki Garang, hip hop star from Kenya. It was quite a memorable experience reconnecting with the rest of the team which included Rahel and Nigerian chapter coodinator Lawrence Afere.
Africa Unbound team From left: Lawrence Afere,Muki Garang, Rahel Kassahun and Paa Kwesi
Below Africa Unbound seminar is in session .
My description of the experience during the AFDB conference in Arusha,stems from the realization that if Africa must unite,it must first begin with the harmonization of its people. Learning to understand and appreciate the things that make us so different and unique is key.
In the much anticipated Africa Unbound seminar under the theme;Harnessing the innovative capacities of Africa’s youth. With Mokhtar Diop,Vice President, Africa Region, the World Bank and Dr. Frannie Leuthier the executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation. In her operning remarks Dr.Leuthier commended the collaborative effort of Africa Unbound and Africa 2.0 as a way to demonstrate organizations working together on a common goal for a better Africa.
It became imperative when Dr.Nkosana Donald Moyo took to the floor, and made an emphasis on the need to have such a forum to climax these meetings,Dr.Moyo acknowledged the need for youth inclusion now more than ever. This conference highlighted the work that Africa Unbound is doing in promoting peace, prosperity and freedom on the continent.
Dr.Rahel Kassahun mentioned during her presentation that “It is important to note that 61% of Africa’s population is constituted by the youth. Africa’s development would then be on a transformative coarse by using this population as a resource.” Africa Unbound projects that this is the key to Africa’s economic superiority.
In reminiscence to the 2011 Africa Unbound launch in Addis Ababa,world leaders were moved when they felt connected with the vision and mission of Africa Unbound. The vision is provocative, our approach is daring our strategy is gradual, yet steady and our efforts each day to live these ideals heightens by the day.
The future for young people in Africa looks great,this platform is an indicator that the older generation are beginning to listen to the voice of the youth and acknowledging that they will be custodians of our heritage tomorrow.
Lastly Remarks by the US treasury official, Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, Marisa Lago at the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting, highlighted on U.S. plans and concerns on investement in Africa. Key to which is promoting regional intergration,not enough emphasis can be made on this note,as Dr.Kabaruka stated on Africa Unbound radio earlier this month, “While accepting that political integration might take time,they should not accept that economic integration can be delayed another day.”
A sentiment echoed by fellow President and host Jakaya Kikwete who stated in his opening speech “We need to increase connectivity in Africa to facilitate growth in intra-African trade. We need more roads, railways, ports, airports and ICT to open up and increase market access. These are heavy capital
investment undertaking that many countries cannot afford on their own,” the president pointed out.
We look forward to contributing towards Africa’s unity and appreciation of its culture and heritage. Join us on facebook and follow us on twitter and participate in local chapters within your region.