As part of preparations towards a Virtual African Youth and Governance Convergence (AYGC) 2020, Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) spoke at the Youth Governance Dialogues – a webinar organized by the Youth Development Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (YDC – OOPL) to mark International Youth Day. The webinar under the theme “The Role of Political Parties in Enhancing Youth Participation in Parliament” was hosted by Mr Damain Oyibo, Director of the Center, with the Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Eminent Fellow of AYGC, H. E. Olusegun Obasanjo as Keynote Speaker.
This year’s theme for International Youth Day, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” is in line with YBF’s quest to use youth driven and youth focused initiatives to advocate for their participation in governance.
Joyce Nyame, Programs Coordinator for YBF speaking at the forum said that Youth Engagement in Politics and Governance must include participation in the electoral and political processes that exist in our governance system as well as qualitative and quantitative representation of the Youth in political offices.
“For Youth Participation and Representation, there is a conscious need for supportive systems that facilitate youth inclusion and human capital investment. The Youth must also cease the moment and avail themselves to be mentored and trained. This informed the convening of the African Youth and Governance Convergence, a 4-tier leadership conference bringing together Youth living in Africa and the Diaspora to discuss pertinent issues affecting the Youth on the continent. Our goal since AYGC started in 2009 is to ensure that the Youth are groomed and their capacities built to be able to represent themselves at the local, national and global levels irrespective of age, geographical location, circumstances, gender or disability.” she stated.
The Keynote Speaker, His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo in his address stressed the need for leadership training and holistic education. He stated that young people must be at the forefront of everything, bearing in my mind that they will have to chart their course to political attainment, instead of waiting for anyone to handover to them.
“Youth must lead in all things no matter the industry and to achieve this, Education is key. Through education, our Youth will be the agents, objects and subjects of change”, he said.
The webinar brought together Youth leaders, Activists and Governance Enthusiasts on the African continent and the Diaspora.
The submissions from the panel, and questions from participants, centred on bridging the gaps that limit Youth Interaction with Political Parties, and their participation in Political Processes.
The Youth Governance Dialogue of the YDC – OOPL, a partner institution of YBF is a learning platform for young people to engage older and past political office holders, gleaning from their philosophies and overriding principles on how to effectively engage in the electoral process.
Heading towards AYGC, this dialogue like many other activities happening on the continent to mark International Youth Day sets the unifying theme and YBF’s call for the need to “Build Partnerships for Youth-led Community Development in Africa” which is the theme for AYGC 2020.
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