Zimbabwe: MP Calls for Youth Participation in Economic Affairs

AAYP Press Release

Mazowe North legislator Cde Campion Mugweni says youths must take advantage of vast opportunities availed to them by Government to be active players in the development of the nation.

In an interview last week, the youthful legislator said gone are the days when youths were used by senior politicians for selfish gains.

“Youths are the majority in the country and those aged between 21 and 40 should channel their energy towards national development. Zimbabwe is the only country with youths and a women’s bank, a sign that the leadership is committed to the empowerment of its citizenry.

“As youths, we should take advantage of these opportunities to economically empower ourselves. For our voices to be heard, we should be leaders in championing our causes,” he said.

“Gone are the days of politics of sloganeering. Economic emancipation should be the driving force in everything that we do. We should also desist from blame-game and ask ourselves what we are doing to improve the country’s economic fortunes. Charity begins at home and we should be part of the equation in solving the country’s economic woes.”

He also challenged youths to utilise the vast resources in the country.

“We have a very big informal sector in Zimbabwe and youths should also be players there. Most of us were born under sanctions and it is our time to be active in busting them.

“As youths, let us visit our provincial mines and lands offices to apply for claims and land. It is easy to get a mining claim here in Zimbabwe compared to countries like South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. Opportunities are there for everyone, but we are not utilising them.

“You can lease a farm and help Zimbabwe regain its breadbasket status. We need foreign currency for crucial sectors like health and energy and if we fully utilise the land we can have more exports of our agricultural produce,” he said.

On alleged factional fights in Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central province, Cde Mugweni, said personality clashes should not be blown out of proportion to be viewed as factionalism.

“We are reading some of these issues in the press, but on the ground we are a united front. Personality clashes should not be blown out of proportion. We are all solidly behind President Mnangagwa’s leadership.

“As politicians, we are duty-bound to deliver on our election manifesto and not to be at each other’s throats. Youths as the vanguard of the party should stay away from factional fights.

“Before you do anything, you should ask yourself whether the nation or an individual will benefit out of your action. If you find out that an individual is set to benefit from your action, then stay clear off any mischief.”

Source The Herald.

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AfricaAfrican Youth Leaders Tell UN: We Are Force for Change

AAYP Press Release

African youth activists called on the international community Wednesday to view the 220 million young people on their continent as a positive force for change, not a problem requiring solutions.

“We must change the narrative about African youth to become a narrative of collective, positive actors, among the most informed, the most resilient generation of Africa,” said Aya Chebbi, the African Union’s special envoy on youth.

The growing youth population is often viewed as a potential time bomb for the continent, as governments struggle to provide education and good jobs to the millions of young people seeking a better life. Recruitment by armed groups and migration away from the continent have increased, as the root causes of hopelessness are not adequately addressed.

Youth envoy Chebbi, a Tunisian national who had large cutouts of African continents dangling from her earlobes, told the U.N. Security Council that negative narratives can be dangerous.

“It is disempowering,” Chebbi said. “Many young people have internalized the idea that they are marginalized and now see these violent groups as legitimate fighters, not perpetrators of violence. So we have to value our youth and their contribution to society; they will look for recognition elsewhere if we don’t.”

“If the right investments in youth are made, and their social, political and economic engagement recognized and nurtured, societies may reap a peace dividend,” said the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa Bience Gawanas.

She noted that across the continent the youth are demanding urgent action and are making their voices heard.

“From Algeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, young people are at the center of pro-democracy movements, effectively mobilizing, organizing, leading and clamoring for inclusive and accountable governance, youth participation and economic opportunities for all,” she said.

Wednesday’s Security Council debate was convened around the African Union initiative to ‘silence the guns by 2020’ and end conflict on the continent. It coincided with the International Day for Non-violence.

“We want youth to give up the guns, but can we answer the big question in the mind of a 19 or 20 year-old: Who am I? What are we offering them?” Youth envoy Chebbi asked.

Hafsa Ahmed, 27, joined the meeting via a video link from Nairobi, Kenya, where she is a co-founder of the NGO Naweza.

She said African youth face “deep rooted obstacles” to meaningful participation in peacebuilding efforts, which are traditionally the domain of the older generation.

“When young people are involved and brought to the table, it is often tokenistic and our needs and interests are often reduced to issues of education and employment, when we actually have diverse needs as youth — and the capacity to contribute to the biggest challenges facing our communities and our world,” Ahmed said.

Ugandan activist Victor Ochen recounted how many of his dreams were ruined because his childhood was spent in an internally-displaced persons camp. He told council members via video from Kampala that he made the conscious decision not to be recruited at a time when young boys around him were targeted.

“I was pondering whether picking up the gun to fight was the way to go, but something in me kept on telling me war is not option, you need an end to suffering, picking up the gun will only escalate suffering,” Ochen said. “I chose peace.”

At the age of 13 he started a peace club in the IDP camp to discourage recruitment of child soldiers. He later went on to found the African Youth Initiative Network to transform trauma into an opportunity for leadership and build peace.

“I can say it is very difficult for something good to come out of a life of conflict,” he said.

He urged governments to improve the quality of life for their citizens, address inter-ethnic issues and called on the international community to abandon sanctions, saying they do not work against the state as intended, but affect ordinary people.

Source VOA

Nigeria: Ekiti to Support Young Entrepreneurs in Expanding their Business

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AAYP Press Release

The Ekiti State government has promised to provide the needed support for young entrepreneurs who are willing to expand their scope of business, in line with the government’s vision of igniting entrepreneurship spirit among its citizens.

The wife of the state governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, disclosed this at the closing session of the Ekiti Entrepreneurship Week 2019 in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.

The support, according to her, includes providing them more opportunities to showcase their talents, assisting them with funds for expansion and linking them with mentors.

No fewer than 5,000 participants drawn from the 16 local government areas of the state participated in the three-day programme which was tagged “Enterprise and creativity meet opportunity.”

Mrs Fayemi, who presented awards to some participants with very outstanding and innovative business ideas and projects, said she was delighted at the enthusiasm of the participants, explaining government’s plan to enhance the capacity of young entrepreneurs and make them providers of employment is being realised.

She expressed her satisfaction at the dexterity of many of the designers that showcased their designs made from locally sourced materials during the event.

She noted that the initiative would boost the state’s economic development if well explored strategically and help the fashion artists to develop themselves.

She said: “We are doing this entrepreneurship week to showcase Ekiti locally made fabrics and tailoring.

“We have seen that Ekiti people are amazing; we have all these materials produced here in Ekiti. The Aso Oke was made by the local Association of Aso-Oke Weavers and the Adire material was made by students of the Ekiti State University (EKSU).

“We want to thank Dr John Kayode Fayemi for investing in Ekiti and supporting the women folk. We are showcasing to the world what we can do. Ekiti people are not lazy, they are hard working and industrious.”

Mrs Fayemi further disclosed that a number of the participants at the programme would be invited to both Fashion Week in Lagos in December, and the African Fashion Week London in 2020.

She expressed her optimism that the programme would be a permanent feature in the state since “Ekiti people cherish hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence. I am proud of them and give kudos to Dr Kayode Fayemi for believing and showcasing the talented sons and daughters of Ekiti”.

The Secretary of the planning committee, Mr Seyi Aiyeleso, urged the participants to make good use of the opportunity given to them from the programme, adding that the programme was designed as a platform for raising and showcasing talents, which according to him, abound in the state.

The governor’s wife was presented with the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) Lifetime Achievement Award at the event by the National President of FADAN, Mrs Funmi Ajila-Ladipo.

Mrs Ajila-Ladipo expressed her gratitude to God and the committee in charge of the programme and Governor Fayemi for impacting Ekiti sons and daughters through fashion entrepreneurship.

Source Thisdaylive

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You’re a Product of Your Choices

By Azugbene Solomon

The more you love and respect your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

We are a product of our choices, that doesn’t mean bad choices make us bad people, it means we should find fulfilment in our choices to create fulfillment in ourselves. Seeking approval from others is a slippery slope, and that thirst won’t turn off once you get enough imaginary applause from the imaginary audience. Loving your choices is loving yourself, we can’t make everyone happy, many of us struggle to make ourselves happy, but that’s where we should start. Once we create happiness for ourselves we can share that with others, and motivate them to do the same.

Everyone faces tragedies, trials, and obstacles in life. That’s just part of life. No one ever promised life would be easy. And the fact is, life’s heartaches are often opportunities where we can learn and grow the most.

The way you choose to respond to life’s tragedies will determine whether you develop the attitude of a survivor or a victim. You can choose to think and behave in a productive manner, even when you feel pain and sorrow.

Avoid Wallowing in Self-Pity

So often, people waste time feeling sorry for themselves when they encounter a problem. They spend precious minutes of their lives complaining to others about how bad things are or they sit around and dwell on their negative emotions. Each minute they waste complaining and wallowing is a minute that they could have spent trying to improve their situation.

Choosing to wallow in self-pity will only make you remain stuck. Feelings of self-pity will hold you back from making healthy choices. Feeling sorry for yourself will waste time and precious energy.

Time doesn’t heal anything. In fact, if you choose to allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, you’ll feel worse as more time passes. Choosing to take action is the only thing that can make your situation better.

Remember, you aren’t the only one in the world with problems. In fact, there are many people in the world who choose to overcome much bigger problems every day.

Choose to Overcome Adversity

Behaving in a productive manner will reduce your feelings of self-pity. It will help you find strength. Just because you feel pity for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to behave in a pitiful manner.

When you experience problems and adversity, it’s up to you to decide how you want to respond. You can choose to allow it to define you, or you can choose to make it a defining moment. Choosing to face problems head on with an open-mind will help you become a stronger person.

Choose Your Attitude

There are plenty of things in life that aren’t within your control. You can’t control other people, certain health problems, or how the world around you operates. You can however, always choose your attitude. Choosing to go through life with a positive attitude and a desire to be a survivor rather than a victim is up to you.

No matter how bad things are, you always have choices. You can choose to get back up when life pushes you down, even if you don’t feel like. Learning how to tolerate distress will give you more confidence that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

Conclusion
You were put on this earth because you’re strong enough to live it. Don’t waste time wishing things were different or insisting that life isn’t fair. Life wasn’t meant to be fair. It was meant to be lived, no matter what circumstances you encounter. Make a conscious choice to live a life that’s worth living, even when you don’t feel like it.

Reference
1. You’re a Product of Your Choices Not a Victim of Your Circumstances by The Poet Project.

2. You’re a Product of Your Choices Not a Victim of Your Circumstances by Amy Morin, LCSW

I Am Inspired To Empower The Young People To Discover Their Full Potentials.

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By AAYPAFRICA

Esther Neema is currently representing her country (Kenya) at the Africa Youth Development Commission (AYDEC). And She’s the main communication advisor for LAMUKANI in the rural coast of Kenya, she’s also serving the same capacity at the Yali Nairobi Alumni Network (YNAN).

Esther Neema is the founder and president of Dream Tribe. She fully believes Dream Tribe can help young people fulfill their dreams in enterprises, business development, public and marketing.

Esther has a rich background on stage in acting and in journalism. And she’s passionate about youth and entrepreneurship.

1. How did the idea for your business come about?

I started my first business as an events company. Then it evolved in to catering. I notice that my greatest challenge was access to markets. So, I start to revisit my business and wonder how can I expand the business. This is where the ides started. It was key to create a system, so that we don’t just get lucky, we have a plan and above all, a community, that becomes a support system.

So, on this faithful day at 4:00 in the AM, in 2016, I got an epiphany. What if we had a network, a community of people in Business and Marketers! Then we would share networks and more links to markets. That way, entrepreneurs would always have a tribe to belong.

I called it the Network. It was going to be everything I wished I had as an entrepreneur, a home and the community that I had always wished for.

It was a chance for all of us to participate in something bigger than ourselves, fueling everybody’s dreams through collaboration. It was going to validate 1000 dreams in time.

2. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

Leaving school, it never occurred to me there was a world of entrepreneurship. Having studied PR, the government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, then was my role model. I could see myself strutting the world as one, perhaps in red high heels, red lipstick. Well, this vision was until I got my first job, and I was bored to death in the afternoons literally having to lift my feet in the air daily not to dose, reaching work just before the 9:00 am, rushing in wearing my heels at the gate since it was a rule.

And I remember being so unsettled, and thinking, yo, this can’t be it!!! So one day, in my wandering years, my father, took my brother and I to the Market, walked us in to the stalls, literally taking all brochures to show us trade, I was Soaked in speeches on Rich Dad Poor dad. And there I was writing notes, as if this was just the bible. Astound by this huge possible world surely. You mean. He told us narrative of his hustler friends who straight out of college went in to business, and now could buy the world. I was sold out

3. How did you come up with the name for your company?

In Africa, Tribe have such high importance for individuals. They provide a great support system and a sense of belonging. I wanted a space where entrepreneurs can belong.

4. How did you raise funding for your venture?

I have funded myself, through working on jobs. I have occasionally gotten support from family.

5. How do you build a successful customer base?

Through social media and being part of many networks. Many are also friends and former colleagues.

6. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?

Social media has got me many clients. I am constantly talking about Dream Tribe. That way, many people have approached me to work with them. Equally I pitch to corporates directly.

7. What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

I observed that in an African community: “Poverty was a foreign concept. This could only be really brought about to the entire community by an adverse climate during a particular season. It never was considered repugnant to ask one’s neighbors for help if one was struggling .In almost all instances there was help between individuals, tribe, Chiefs, etc. even in spite of war” This explains why a community may have poor people but it may not have beggars”

Thus by using the same African spirit of coming together, establish great communities that influence great change in the entrepreneurship sector.

In Africa, the problem of one,is the problem of all. In Kenya, Haraambe made everything achievable. Tanzania Ujamaa ensures everybody wins. South-Africa, Ubuntu ensure that the principle of humanity thrives above all. In the sense that for a community to be well, all must be well.

How can these African principles engrained in our values leverage our success as traders in Africa. That together ALL and not ONE we leverage our unity for larger markets and a louder voice. In Business, the Indians, Somalis, and Kikuyus practice this, and you see their success in business is unquestionable. So you and Me, and every business person needs that sense of brotherhood, that we may equally survive. “Leave behind no one” and at last “Create an Africa that we want” That indeed should be our legacy

8. What motivates you?

I am motivated to see more young people live the life of their dreams. And I am inspired to empower the young people to discover their full potentials.

9. How do you generate new ideas?

I have many Dream Teams and together we come up with great ideas.

10. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

1+1=2. In most case, it is not about Re-inventing the wheel. It is actually about choosing paths. In most cases, paths had pegged consequent results. It is the reason gaining knowledge or for the first time accepting that you are short, you would start experience different experiences. Thus in learning a lot from others, we save on time and stop gallivanting aimlessly. We now start to move with a purpose. I was blessed to have amazing women who taught me and showed me the way, starting from my producer, who not only believed in me and gave me my first TV job and literally introduced me to make up and power, to the women that I interviewed on the show who were power itself, who I would later follow for life skills. Forever grateful that these women, let me in to their spaces, and that I would forever be a different person, than who I was before I met them.

11. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

FREEDOM: having this lifestyle allowed me to do the many things. Allowed me to spend my twenties learning, maybe not making as much as all, he he he he, some days I was below the poverty line. It was only when I looked back that I realized, I was now becoming “overqualified”. Being a perennial volunteer had built my expertise. And learned mostly, You are whoever, you say you are.

As TD Jakes put it, WHAT YOU DO IS NOT WHO YOU ARE!!! WHEN PEOPLE GIVE YOU TITLE THEY IMPRISON YOU. YOU ARE WHATEVER IS IN YOU. YOU ARE MORE THAN WHAT PEOPLE CALL YOU , MORE THAN THE JOB TITLE.”

Thus, it became key to discover: What am I made of, my capacity? How far can I stretch? Who do I want to be? And most importantly made me discover Multiple sources. And no oe could stop me.

12. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

When we see satisfaction in who we are serving and actually get paid for it.

13. What piece of advice would you give to university graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?

WHY YOU SHOULD BE A TRADER
Trade as something so noble. Half the time you are feeling ultimately crazy for an idea that sometimes doesn’t even make sense to even you. That you have to chant you are amazing on the daily to maintain sanity, before anything particularly shows for why you are gallivanting the universe. And you may wonder, why would anybody want to feel like this eh???

Far from the truth though, something is happening in your heart, your body and soul. You are probably working round the clock for something you feel strongly about, that sometimes wakes you at 3:00 in the am, because you can’t imagine never having given your dreams a chance. Staying late at night after work for it. Trying to discover the how, because your why is so strong.

You have big dreams that force you be better, to serve better and give more your contribution to earth. You learn every day, you grow, you negotiate, you shamelessly sell. Somehow you become a force in time. You wear many hats that you can be anyone in a company, you have had to do it all by yourself, before you find fellow dreamers. YOU BECOME, you are different.

You learn you can give it to yourself, you become your CEO, your marketer, and your greatest cheerleader. You learn to be social and basically a better human. How powerful!!! You can have your cakes and eat them all. You don’t take no for an answer when it comes to your dreams, you Just do it!!!

You learn, as my mentor put’s it, there is no shame in the game. And you just keep moving until you see the magic. And nothing is more beautiful than when you realize, I CAN DO IT!!! And it wasn’t really hard, it was simple. I feel those are the things that make it all worth it. You can do it.

And above all, you get to serve humanity in a large way by providing solutions to the problems we experience everyday.

12. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t, I guess

13. Who has been your greatest inspiration? Oprah

14. If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?

  • I would ensure equality of opportunities.
  • I would upgrade slums.
  • I would make everyone believe in themselves.

15. What is the part of your life experience you would alter if you had the chance to?

I would have studied business.

16. If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?

Esther Unchained.

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Give young people meaningful roles

By Azugbene Solomon

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“Having a voice” means more than making a sound when you sing or shout. The ways people express ideas, energy, and insights make each person unique. Helping young people find their voices is one of the best ways to help them be a positive force in their families, schools, clubs, teams, or neighborhoods. This is good for them—and for your community. Young people have a lot more to contribute when their opinions are respected and their talents are tapped. Listen closely to the opinions of young people around you, and you’ll all benefit.

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Research shows when young people have useful roles in their community they feel good about themselves and their future, do better in school, and get into less trouble. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and appreciated. Only 26 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they’ve been given useful roles in their community, according to Search Institute surveys. Allow all young people to have a voice in issues and decisions at home, school, and in the community.

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Building this asset means valuing young people’s talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It means setting aside the belief that adults know more than the younger generation. When you see children and youth as valuable resources, they feel more empowered to contribute to the community, and at school, and home in meaningful, thoughtful ways.

This post originally appeared on Youtherie