AU’s Pan African Youth Forum Launches ‘1 Million by 2021 Initiative’

By Lionel Tarumbwa

With 75% of its population under the age of 35, the African Union has to realise Africa’s demographic dividend may be more important to its future than its natural resources.

The second edition of the African Union’s Pan African Youth Forum is kicking off on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The forum will be running under the theme Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the Gap and Reaching African Youth.

The forum is aimed at leveraging and harnessing on the power of the continent’s growing youth population. It represents a paradigm shift in the AU as it moves towards broader recognition and support of the continent’s youth in order to harness their potential.

The forum brings together over 400 young people from across the continent to co-create solutions on the main problem areas that are hindering the youth from achieving their potential. Development partners, the private sector, institutions of higher learning and the civil societies will also be in attendance as part of the aim to have a broader engagement with all stakeholders.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat will officially launch the 1 million by 2021 Initiative, which targets direct investment in millions of African youth on the four key elements of employment, entrepreneurship, education and engagement (4Es).

Africa is expected to experience a demographic dividend as young people make up the bulk of Africa’s total population, with an estimated 75% of the continent’s population below the age of 35. The demographic dividend has been acknowledged by African leaders and decision-makers as a strategic basis for focusing and prioritising investments. Investments into Africa’s youth will contribute towards sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

For African countries to capitalize on this demographic dividend, the future workforce must be educated, trained, and have adequate employment and innovation opportunities. Putting all the pieces in place will not be easy.

This will be achieved by building capacity for quality education and skills improvement, health and wellbeing, good governance, human rights and accountability, employment opportunities, leadership skills, empowerment and entrepreneurship. This is the basis for prioritising youth development by the AUC, as evidenced by the 2017 theme of the year: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.

In data gathered by the Ibrahim Index of Africa Governance over a decade, there were reflections that African governments are in danger of squandering the continent’s demographic dividend by failing to create enough jobs.

Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese businessman whose foundation produces the index, said, “Our gross domestic product has grown by a considerable amount over the past 10 years, but we haven’t translated that into a sustainable economic opportunity.”

According to a report by Brookings on Increasing Employment Opportunities in Africa’s complex job market, even some of Africa’s largest economies such as Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa struggle with high unemployment. This is a challenge that may persist as more youth begin to enter the workforce if not more investments are made into education and skills creation. The report by Brookings noted that investments into “human capital” more generally will help African countries to fulfil their broader development missions.

The AU Commission launching the 1 million by 2021 Initiative demonstrates a focused commitment on young Africans. The main objective of the initiative is to concretely provide opportunities in the 4Es for millions of African youths by the year 2021.

Source The African Exponent

Kenya: Rastafarianism, promising freedom, spreads among African youth


Dressed in a red turban and black robe, Douglas Okello bowed and gazed at the portrait of the former Ethiopian emperor pinned up in his one-room mud shack in Nairobi’s Kibera slum.

Then he prayed, and smoked a joint.

“I believe in Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian emperor who will deliver us to the promised land,” said Okello, 28. “This is a calling from Jah, and a true Rastafari must smoke weed to cleanse his soul.”

Rastafarianism, increasingly popular in Kenya, is a faith that started in the Caribbean island of Jamaica in the 1930s after the coronation of Haile Selassie I as king of Ethiopia. Rastafarians regard Haile Selassie as the God of the black race and believe he will one day return all black people living in so-called exile — outside Africa — as the result of migration and the slave trade back to the continent.

Okello, who has been a Rastafarian for five years, said he joined the movement after he developed a liking for reggae music, which grew out of Rastafarian culture in the West Indies, while studying at the University of Nairobi. Reggae musicians singing about how black people were oppressed spoke to him, he said.

Rastafarians don’t cut their hair but grow it, uncombed, into dreadlocks. They smoke marijuana and reject materialist values in favor of a strict oneness with nature. They tend to be vegetarian and eat only unprocessed foods.

“I received a spirit that led me to start growing dreadlocks and learn how to smoke marijuana,” Okello explained. “If you are a true Rastafarian, everything changes and you start to understand the Bible. I don’t consume animals nowadays.”

The faith has grown so much among young people in Kenya, its leaders say, that they have developed social media platforms to address issues affecting the youth. Last year, the group Rastafarian Family Elders estimates, more than 1,000 people shifted from Christianity to Rastafarianism in Nairobi’s Kibera slum alone. The Elders said youths in the country have started realizing the religion favors their interests. (There are no official figures on Rastafarians in Kenya, but estimates put the global figure at 1 million.)

Anthony Maiga, a theologian and pastor for the United Methodist Church of Kenya in Nairobi, said the group traces Haile Selassie’s lineage back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and, through King David’s line as described in the New Testament book of Matthew, to Jesus.

But Maiga said the faith has seen rapid growth because many young people see themselves reflected in the language and behavior of Rastafarians.

“Youths love something that does not restrict them, like smoking and abusing drugs, listening to secular music and sharing things instead of working and paying for their own,” said Maiga. “The sect encourages such behavior and obviously they are likely to get more youths.”

Jacob Maina, 35, who also lives in the slum, confirmed that he joined the faith because he was looking for freedom. Born into a Protestant Christian family, he said the faith restricted him: He could not smoke marijuana, question oppressors or listen to his favorite reggae musician, Bob Marley.

“I was actually in prison when I was a Christian,” he said. “Christianity condemns everything that youths enjoy. The Rastafari faith allows youths to live good life. We don’t give offering on Sabbath day and we are allowed to smoke marijuana and listen to reggae music.”

But its adherents here say that many new Rastafarians are attracted by the social justice and anti-colonialist sentiments that drew Okello.

“Youths who are black have been oppressed since the days of colonization,” said Ras Malonza, a Rastafarian leader in Nairobi. “They were made slaves to whites and that’s the reason they found themselves in Jamaica.

“Jamaica is hell to us and Ethiopia is our heaven,” he added. In time, he said, “we will be repatriated to Ethiopia, which is our promised land by Haile Selassie. Black youths will no longer be oppressed and we will live in freedom and peace.”

Malonza, 43, who was once a staunch Catholic, said he regrets the years he wasted not believing in Haile Selassie. As evidence that Rastafarians are the true believers, he quotes the Old Testament book of Jeremiah: “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.”

“We are the only religion that follows the Bible,” said Malonza. “Our God is black and the Bible confirms that.”

Anyway, local leader say, Rastafarianism doesn’t equate to freedom in Kenya’s socially conservative urban milieu. Rastafarians often face discrimination and are viewed as criminals because of their pot smoking and their appearance, especially the dreadlocks, local leaders say.

Recently, a court in Nairobi ordered officials at Olympic High School in Kibera slum to admit a Rastafarian student after she was refused due to her dreadlocks.

“It’s time for people to understand and respect our faith just as we respect other religions,” said Ras Lojuron, a member of the Rastafarian Family Elders.

Meanwhile, Okello hopes society, especially the government, stops its harassment and discrimination against Rastafarians.

“The police should treat us well,” he said. “We are a religion just like Christianity and Islam.”

Source Religion News Service

Meet The Youngest Tech Pioneer in Ethiopia

By Thomas Lewton

Ethiopia, despite nearly 20 years of steady economic growth, still has one of the lowest GDPs per capital in the world. While the majority of the country contributes to its agriculture-based economy, growing sectors of tech-savvy youths are forging a new path.

And Ethiopia isn’t alone. As start-up hubs sprout all across Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana – often backed by A-list investors – a new generation is turning its attention toward innovation. The idea is simple: create local solutions to local problems through tech.

Betelhem Dessie, 19, is one of the youngest tech pioneers in Ethiopia. Over the last three years, in addition to patenting several software programs, she has travelled the country teaching students how to code and conducting innovation workshops. So far, she has reached more than 20,000 young people.

“In developed countries, technology is creating a comfort or a convenience.” she says. “Whereas in Ethiopia it’s creating a necessity.”

Source BBC

Mekele Set To Provide Jobs For 23,000 Youth in Ethiopia

Featured photo credit: SOS Youth Facilities

Mekele, the Capital of Tigray Region of Ethiopia provides land for investors who are set to create jobs for 22,900 youth.

The 222 investors who secured the land have registered a total capital of 13.6 billion birr (about $483 million). The investors who secured land from Mekele City Administration on Saturday will be engaged in manufacturing and service sectors, according to Fana Broadcasting.

Increasing Mekele City Administration has been providing land after evaluating investment proposals of the investors.

The report indicated that Dr. Debretision Gebremichael, Deputy Head of Tigray Region said that when more investment comes to the region, more youth will get jobs.

In recent years youth unemployment in Ethiopia has been a major concern. For some cities the unemployment rate is estimated to reach up to 30% though the official data says that the national unemployment rate is around 24%.

The growing rural to urban migration and the imbalance between the number of graduates coming from schools every year and the number of jobs the country is providing, have increased the unemployment rate in cities including Mekele.

The December 2016 report of the World Bank on employment in Ethiopia suggested that the government needs to address major obstacles in the labor market to enable the country accelerate structural transformation, ensure inclusive growth and lead to poverty reduction.

Entitled, ‘5th Ethiopia economic update: why so idle? – wages and employment in a crowded labor market, World Bank’s report offers five policy recommendations to enhance urban labor markets:

– encourage firm creation and firm growth that creates jobs for non-graduates;

– increase labor productivity in the low-skill population segment by addressing constraints faced by firms in accessing capital (financial and physical) to ensure that the marginal product of labor increases above the nutrition-based wage;

– invest further in job training and technical training programs to build the skills of those in the job market: both for low-skilled workers to increase their productivity and for those with higher levels of education to increase their skill base;

– introduce targeted urban safety nets and labor market programs to invest in skills of low skilled employees and the unemployed, and provide financial support to enable their job search;

– enhance the use of information communication and technology (ICT) to provide information on job vacancies throughout the city and reduce the cost of job search.

Source New Business Ethiopia

Interact with us @aayp_media/Whatsapp: +2348154907978

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

Ethiopia Bans Alcohol Commercials on Media to Protect Children and Youth


Ethiopians Parliament on Wednesday has passed a new law that bans alcohol commercials on broadcast media.

The new law aims to protect children and the youth from being seduced by the commercials of liquor and become addicted and unproductive. It also plans to address the consequences of alcohol consumption on the health of individuals and over economy.

Reports show that most of drunkard drivers are among the causes of road traffic accidents in Ethiopia, which cost the country about 5,000 lives and millions of dollars property damage every year.

In Ethiopia liquor manufacturers and importers including beer factories have been major sponsors of broadcast programs. To minimize the impact of the ban on the income of the broadcast media, which are also significant in democratization of Ethiopia, government institutions should figure out how to work with the broadcasters for better good causes, according to the Minister of Health of Ethiopia Dr. Amir.

“…But as Minister of Health and my mandate, no matter what the consequence I support efforts to protect the health of the public,” he told Sheger FM this morning.

Primarily the draft law was suggesting transmission of alcohol adverts after the children sleep – after 9:PM. Meanwhile during the later discussions and public hearings, it is decided that alcohol advertisements have to be banned. Finally the 547 members parliament banned the commercials on broadcast media by over 400 majority votes.

The new law, which aims to protect the health of the public also involves articles related to tobacco and drug uses, among others.

Currently there are two wineries and several breweries while dozens of companies are engaged in import and distributions of liquors.

Source New Business Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Employment sought for Sri Lankan youth in African continent

Employment has been sought for Sri Lankan youth in the African continent.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia celebrated the 71st Anniversary of National Day of Sri Lanka with the Addis Ababa based Diplomats, senior officials of the Ethiopian Government and the African Union Commission, Ethiopian entrepreneurs and members of the Sri Lankan community, at the Sri Lanka House.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by Ambassador Sumith Dassanayake followed by singing of national anthems of Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, observing two minutes of silence in remembrance of national heroes and lighting of traditional oil lamp by the invited guests, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia said.

The National Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs were read out in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.

Addressing the gathering, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission Sumith Dassanayake outlined the significant achievements of Sri Lanka since independence and requested the Diplomatic Corps and other foreign guests to make use of the opportunities available in Sri Lanka in the fields of trade, tourism and foreign investment etc.

The Ambassador also acknowledged the positive contributions made by the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Ethiopia and Africa for economic development in Sri Lanka. He also requested them to contribute further and find more employment opportunities for Sri Lankan youths in the African continent.

At the end, a short video featuring Sri Lanka’s tourist and cultural attractions was screened to the audience.

Source MenaFM

Ethiopia: The District Of Columbia’s Top Youth Volunteers Of 2019 Selected By National Program

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors Washington students with $1,000, medallions and invitation to national recognition events.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Skylar Thomas, 17 and Feven Tadele, 12, today were named the District of Columbia’s top two youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. As State Honorees, Skylar and Feven each will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an invitation to join the top two honorees from all 50 U.S. states in early May for four days of national recognition events in Washington, D.C. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2019.

The Prudential Spirit of Community
Awards, now in its 24th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

These are the District of Columbia’s top youth volunteers of 2019:

High School State Honoree: Skylar Thomas Nominated by Ballou Senior High School

Skylar, a senior at Ballou Senior High School, worked as a summer youth camp counselor and tutor to help children from low-income neighborhoods gain skills that will help them become more successful in school and in life. As a young child, Skylar was invited to participate in Reaching New Heights, a program sponsored by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. “My mentor helped change my life by being there for me when I wasn’t focused on school, giving me someone to talk to about adolescent issues other than my mother, and continuously preaching that education is power,” said Skylar.

Three years ago, Skylar was invited by the police department to come back to the program as a summer camp counselor. Growing up, she saw a lot of kids who were always playing video games, who didn’t want to go to school, and who had difficulty completing their homework. “I wanted to change their way of thinking,” she said. Her first job as a volunteer was to help the program director conduct an orientation session for parents to explain the program’s mission and goals and to get permission for the children to participate. Then, on Saturdays and weekday evenings, Skylar helped young students improve their reading skills, taught them to express themselves through writing, bolstered their vocabulary and math skills, and showed them how much fun science can be. She also assisted them with community service projects and accompanied the group on field trips. “I wanted these kids to know and believe there is hope for a positive future, and that I am here to help them achieve their dreams,” said Skylar.

Middle Level State Honoree: Feven Tadele Nominated by St. Augustine Catholic School

Feven, a seventh-grader at St. Augustine Catholic School, is a dedicated volunteer who gives back to her community and beyond in many ways, including packing food for people in need, teaching Sunday school at her church, and traveling to Ethiopia to aid people living in poverty and teach English. Feven said her older sister is her primary inspiration for serving others. “Ever since I was little I have looked up to my sister because I always saw her helping others in some way,” said Feven. She soon discovered that volunteering was its own reward. “It gives me a happy feeling inside,” she said.

When she was about 7 years old, Feven started following in her sister’s footsteps by selling chocolates at her church to raise money for her school. Then she offered to help struggling students with their homework, and assisted teachers in sprucing up their classrooms. Gradually, she increased her commitment to helping others and began teaching the Bible to children at her church, distributing holiday cards at a senior citizens home, and packing food to give to the poor in her community. Last summer, Feven, her sister and a friend traveled to Ethiopia to feed people in need and teach English to children there. “Teaching children who are eager to learn always gives me an overflow of joy,” said Feven. “Every time I teach a student, I believe that I am helping prepare that child for the real world and helping them to become great citizens and a great asset to their community.”

Distinguished Finalists

The program judges also recognized two other District of Columbia students as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

These are the District of Columbia’s Distinguished Finalists for 2019:

Anjali Bose, 16, a junior at Georgetown Day School, founded and runs the D.C. chapter of Toybank, an organization devoted to improving children’s cognitive function through play; she began volunteering at the foundation at its home base in her native city of Mumbai. In Washington, she collected nearly 100 toys in three months to send to India, staying in constant contact with the central office and mastering the logistics of collecting, storing, quality-checking and shipping the donations.

Lukas Leijon, 18, a senior at School Without Walls High School, created and maintained trails on both the Appalachian Trail and auxiliary trails in the Northeast with the Appalachian Mountain Club for three summers. He cleared fallen trees, built bog bridges and lodged rocks in the trail to combat erosion, guiding less experienced club members and becoming certified in Wilderness First Aid; his work will help maintain the beauty and accessibility of the trail for another hundred years.

“These young volunteers learned and demonstrated that they can make meaningful contributions to individuals and communities through their service,” said Prudential CEO Charles Lowrey. “It’s an honor to recognize their great work, and we hope that shining a spotlight on their service inspires others to consider how they might make a difference.”

“Each of these honorees is proof that students have the energy, creativity and unique perspectives to create positive change,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We commend each of the 2019 honorees for their outstanding volunteer service, and for the invaluable example they’ve set for their peers.”

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. These Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia – will tour the capital’s landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from other parts of the world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural

History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. On May 6, 10 of the State Honorees – five middle level and five high school students – will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2019. These National Honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 125,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China and Brazil. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees.

For information on all of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit or


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council. Learn more at

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

For Spirit of Community Awards program logo and medallion graphics, please visit

SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa Takes Off 2,000 Street Children

Officially commencing the rehabilitation of street children in Capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, last night the city administration has lifted 2,000 street children volunteered to enter rehabilitation centers.

Last night 300 volunteers and popular figures along with the officials of the city administration have participated in taking the children into the rehabilitation centers. The administration will be implimenting the rehabilitation in collaboration with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Addis Ababa Youth and Sport Bureau.

Led by the recently appointed popular Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa City, Takele Umma, a few days ago the City has introduced an independently run trust fund that plans to rehabilitate some 50,000 street children including women and other people currently living on the streets of Addis Ababa.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has planned to cover the cost of 10,009 street dwellers. The information from the Ministry shows that out of the total, the cost of 5009 inhabitants will be covered by the ministry whereas another 5000 will be subsidized by Addis Ababa City Administration.

A few days ago Deputy Mayor Takele indicated that the trust fund will have six rehabilitation centers and works with the administrations of other regions of Ethiopia from where the street children are coming from.

The trust fund will be using contributions from the mega state enterprises such as the Ethiopia Airlines, which is expected to provide over 400 million birr per year from its tickets sell. The trust fund has also launched a short messaging line 6400 to raise funds from the public.

The fund which also aims to raise more funds through music concerts of famous singers like Teddy Afro and Achalu Hunde as well as mobilize the Ethiopians in the diaspora to raise more funds, aims to fiancé other social services such as school feeding programs in Addis Ababa, according to Deputy Mayor Takele Umma.

In Ethiopia reports show that over 150,000 people live on streets of which most are children. Out of this Addis Ababa is estimated to host around 60,000. While, reports show that HIV/AIDS has already orphaned over one million children in Ethiopia.

Source nbe

Ethiopia Focuses On Irrigation, Tourism To Cut Unemployment

To address the serious challenge of unemployment, Ethiopia government will focus of the development of irrigation and tourism, says Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

He made the remark this morning speaking to the members of parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa. The premier stated that the jobs the country is creating every year is around one million, while the population of the country is increasing by two and half million annually.

“…that is why we are focusing on the tourism sector development ad irrigation,” he said. Prime Minister Abiy noted that around 40% of the youth I the rural areas is also disguised unemployed as three four individuals are sharing the job one person was supposed to do.

In an attempt to help the youth create jobs, the 10 billion birr (around $355 million at current exchange rate) revolving fund, Ethiopian government allocated a few years has also been misused, according to Prime Minister Abiy.

“The fund was not an award,“ he said, indicating that the fund was supposed to revolve creating jobs and reduce unemployment. Meanwhile only 1% of the fund is now at hand, according to the premier.

Launched following the mass illegal migration of Ethiopians through risky routes, the revolving fund was distributed to all regional states of Ethiopia to help the unemployed youth.

Prime Minister Abiy further stated that even though it is not possible for any country to make unemployment zero, involving the private sector and supporting startups will be among the priorities of his administration in the coming years.

In Ethiopia it is estimated that agriculture sector contributes to over 75% of the jobs directly or indirectly. Though it is estimated that the country has irrigation potential of 2.7 million hectares, reports show that it has only utilized a fraction of that figure. On the contrary, the country imports wheat spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prime Minister Abiy stressed that modernizing agriculture and focusing on irrigation is the solution to tackle unemployment and trade deficit.

As a result, the country has not been able to feed its growing umber of population estimated to double and reach 200 million in 30 years. It is still dependent on foreign food aid to feed several millions who can’t produce enough to feed themselves.

Likewise, reports also show that the east African country with abundant historic ad natural tourist attractions has not been able to fully utilize its tourism potentials as compared to the Gulf destinations such as, Dubai, which turned desert into global tourist destinations.

Source nbe

Contending Political Parties Vow to Bring Youth to Leadership Positions in Ethiopia

Contending political parties revealed that they have been exerting efforts to bring the youth to the forefront in order to engage them in high level decision-making and leadership positions.

The contending political parties, two national and one regional, are Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Medrek) and Ethiopian National Movement as well as Arena Tigray Party.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Medrek Chairman Million Tumato said his party is working hard to encourage the youth to actively take part in the leadership of the party.

Nurturing the youth to participate directly in strategizing and meeting the political goal of the party and leading the party is crucial, he noted.

Subsequent to the efforts Medrek has been making in this respect, a certain level of achievement has been registered, according to the chairman.

Million said, “The percentage of youth and women leaders in the party has reached 20 percent. There is of course serious effort to increase the leadership of the youth since almost 70 percent of the population of Ethiopia is youth.”

According to him, democracy and development are unthinkable without the involvement of the youth and women at high level.

The political wing of the youth in the party is created to develop the political leadership and participation of the youth in particular, he pointed out.

Ethiopian National Movement Chairman, Yilkal Getnet said consolidating the involvement of the youth in leadership helps the youth to contribute creatively and utilize their talent in building democracy.

The youth should, therefore, be encouraged to take leadership positions in political parties and contribute creatively to the process of building the parties and democracy at large, he stated.

“In our party we are mainly working to bring the youth and women to leadership positions. We have an internal regulation which focuses on bringing the youth and talented individuals to leadership,” Yilkal added.

He believes that the youth are farsighted and have special talent to achieve their dreams and translate their ideas into reality.

According to Yilkal, creating opportunities for the youth to take part in the political and decision-making processes is very crucial for countries like Ethiopia which aspire to build strong and democratic country.

Arena Tigray Party Chairman, Abraha Desta said young politicians are getting the chance to get involved in high level political decision of the party.

Although the regional party Arena Tigray was established by senior politicians, the leadership is now transferred to the youth, he added.

Abraha said, “We believe that the youth should lead with new political thinking because the political thinking of the 1960s cannot bring democracy and unity. Rather it sows seeds of skepticism, distrust and animosity between political parties. We must bring new political thinking that suits the youth.”

Source ena