More than 1,000 youth, representing 44 Anglophone and Francophone African countries, are meeting in Accra to brainstorm means of inspiring the youth to realise their potential and opportunity required to reposition the continent for its sustainable growth and development.
The five-day congress, on the theme, “Africa: My Home, My Future” is under the facilitation of the All African Conference of Churches (AACC), which has its continental secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Christian Council of Ghana.
It has also attracted participation of stakeholder organisation worldwide, including the Africa Union, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
The official opening of the congress at the Pentecost Convention Centre, Gomoa Fetteh, last Tuesday also coincided with the Africa Youth Day instituted in 2006 and celebrated on November 1 each year by an African Youth Charter under the auspices of African Union Commission (AUC).
The congress participants are discussing topics relevant to Africa’s socio-economic development agenda such as “Promoting Youth and African Patriotism”; “Campaigning for African Dignity”; “Advocating for Peace, Justice and Security” and “Fostering Active Citizenship.”
Investing in education
In a keynote address, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, stated that investing in education, health, entrepreneurial skills and empowerment were meaningful and viable means for African countries to realise the potential of the youth.
“Our youth represent a diverse range of realities, skills sets, and talents, and it is in this diversity that solutions to the continent’s problems can be found,” he stated.
Mr Ussif noted that his ministry had developed a National Youth Policy aimed at harnessing the potential of the youth through capacity skills training, so as to enable them to contribute meaningfully to promoting development in the country and beyond.
The General Secretary of AACC, Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki, called on young people of Africa to join forces to reach the aspirations of Agenda 2063 for prosperous, integrated, peaceful Africa, leading to the Africa we want.
Agenda 2063 is Africa’s development blueprint to achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development over a 50-year period.
“You must commit to work and fight for a peaceful Africa anchored on reliable, sustainable democratic leadership. You must reject unconstitutional transfer of power, through your active citizenship, vying for political positions in your own countries to change the course of history,” he stated.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Presiding Bishop of Methodist Church of Ghana and immediate past Chairman of Christian Council of Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Boafo, urged the youth of Africa to see themselves as agents of change capable of positioning themselves for the future challenges that will confront the world.
He also entreated the youth to uphold socio-moral values of integrity, selflessness and discipline as vital ingredients, adding that strengthening their commitment to the faith by developing relationship with God would facilitate their success in life.