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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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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Uganda: Programme To Tackle Youth Employability Challenge Launched

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Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with Challenges Uganda has launched a 6-month youth employability programme under its Futuremakers initiative valued at Ugx 300,000,000.

The “Youth-to-Work” initiative which has been unveiled at Kampala Serena Hotel to over 100 guests will benefit 40 young and enthusiastic out of university youths with an opportunity to work with Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kampala.

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The objective of the Youth to Work programme is to position and equip young people with skills and opportunities to create economic and employment changes across the economy for sustainable and measurable impact.

In this regard, young people will become implementers of change, rather than standalone programme beneficiaries.

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Through a 3-month training, the youth will be able to develop & refine their skills, work with inspiring entrepreneurs, acquire a Level 5 certificate from the Chartered Management Institute and help drive business performance of an SME.

For the candidates to be eligible for the Youth-to-work programme they will be required to be graduates from any academic background, be 21-30 years or 21-35 for persons with a disability, be Ugandan nationals, attend an assessment day, have some experience, skills or aptitude for business and entrepreneurship.

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Challenges Group Director Neil Fleming said during the launch that they are taking Challenges’ considerable experience of delivering development and business-growth projects, combining it with their on-the-ground knowledge and networks in Kampala and the UK to provide an initiative that will help 40 firms and young people directly, while also acting as a catalyst for wider growth within Kampala’s business community and supporting hundreds of university students.

“Each of these young adults will also be provided additional training so they can then take their knowledge, experience and new-found expertise and share it with hundreds of other ambitious young Ugandans who will be entering the labour market in the years ahead,” said Fleming.

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Uganda, like many other African countries, is facing a crisis in regards to youth unemployment. An estimated 200 million young people are either unemployed or in vulnerable employment globally.

In Uganda, about 65% of the country’s unemployed population are aged between 18 and 30. Thankfully the global community is at last moving past the failed model of hand-outs.

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Fleming said Challenges has long understood that entrepreneurship, effective management and job creation are critical to growing prosperity of individuals and communities.

The Youth at Work pilot is about building a business ecosystem where enterprises and talented young people can thrive, and where innovation and prosperity can grow. Our expertise in delivery is critical to this.

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Vivian Achan the Challenges Uganda Business Development Manager said the programme will take 40 young adults and provide them with key management consultancy training, then position them in one of 40 small and growing businesses.

Once in post, they will provide strategic business development services, with the aim of improving performance.

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For some of the SMEs, this would enable them to become investment-ready and lead to further expansion, which in turn would better enable job creation. The programme’s activities will also reach hundreds of university students and enterprise ecosystems.

“This is a fantastic partnership with Standard Chartered that has great benefits for the successful youths and the small businesses where they will be placed over the 3 months period.

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“Some of the benefits for the 40 SMEs that will register on the Challenges Website to participate in this programme will include; Enterprises will receive on-site business development and investment readiness support, the junior associates will receive accredited business management training from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Enterprises will be supported to grow their peer-networks and in strengthening their ecosystem.

“Furthermore, enterprise staff skills will be enhanced through training, they will receive access to senior mentors from Uganda and the UK to provide expert input into their businesses, and lastly, enterprises will receive support to their business leaders to enable them to identify personal barriers and strengths to grow their companies and help them maintain momentum and motivation to improve. We’re all looking forward to delivering this brilliant and far-reaching project on behalf of Standard Chartered,” said Achan.

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The CEO of Standard Chartered Albert Saltson said they are very excited to launch the “Futuremakers by Standard Chartered” programme, a new initiative that will tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in our communities.

“The programme aims to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow through programmes focused on three pillars – education, employability and entrepreneurship.

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“Under Futuremakers, we will expand Goal, our education programme to empower girls and young women, and develop new programmes focused on employability and entrepreneurship with a continued emphasis on financial education,” said Saltson.

This post originally appeared on Busiweek

Nigeria: Too Many Nigerian Youths And Children Are Left Behind Despite Progress-UNICEF

By AAYP

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria has lamented that despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people, many are left behind especially when it comes to education.

UNICEF Country representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins stated this Monday in Abuja during the maiden edition of Naija Youth Talk, organized by the organization to mark the 2019 International Literacy Day.

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Speaking on the themed, ‘Nigeria We Want,’ Hawkins who was represented by UNICEF Chief of Basic Education, Dr Euphrates Efosie said

Nigeria’s youth bulge is one of the largest in the world, saying that out of a popultion of 200 million, more than 64 million persons are in the 15 to 35-year age bracket normally categorized as young persons.

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According to her, “It is easy to see this as a challenge to national development and it can be, if not properly managed and harnessed. Young people today live in a world of unlimited potentials. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people in recent years, much remains to be done. Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education. Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out of school children. More than 10.5 million Nigerian children are not in school.”

She stressed that UNICEF and partners want to build on the momentum of young people as they commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child this year and keep youth voices at the centre of the debate.

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“Today’s conversation tagged, the Naija Youth Talk, focusing on the The Nigeria We Want’, will allow young people to reflect on and celebrate the progress made by the youth to create the Nigeria we all want, as well as to build momentum and support for further action. This event is part of UNICEF’s global Youth Talks where young people come together to discuss and proffer solutions to crucial issues facing them and their peers.

“Environment that favors empowerment, entrepreneurship, employment and employability for young persons is what we need today. The Nigeria we want is a clarion call by young Nigerians who want to see a different Nigeria going forward.

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“In the education sector, which is the focus of today’s brainstorming, our young people want an education system with good learning outcomes, where a child with nine years of basic education could read and write. And have excellent numeracy skills. Young people want an education that is functional, equipping them with skills to compete in the highly technical global market place,” she added.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, called on Nigerian Youth to be patriotic and love their country against all odds.

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Adesina said if we have a kind of country that we all want, no one will go outside Nigeria to become Second or third class citizens elsewhere. “I would like to stress that for us to get that form of country we must love our country but the question is do we love this country? A large number of Nigerians are happy when things does not work. Youths must begin to love this country, Nigeria even when the country is un-loveable. We want to get to a point where we can say; Nigeria with all thy faults, I love you still.

On the issue of Xenophobia, he cautioned Nigerian youths to desist from circulating fake visuals of xenophobic attacks, saying that most of the videos in circulation happened some years back.