I would like to thank the LéO Africa Institute for nominating me to be the master of ceremonies (MC) for the Africa.Now summit 2019. It was truly an incredible experience and an opportunity to put the skills I learnt at the 2017 YELP program into practice. They also gave youth the chance to lead in such a high profile event which goes to show that the institute values giving the young people a foot into the door but also a chance to showcase their capabilities.
Being an MC is not easy as it requires a lot of planning and coordination with multiple stakeholders as well as a thorough understanding of the event and the content. I truly appreciate the Africa Strategic Leadership Center (ASLC) for the support they provided me in ensuring I excelled in this task.
What I loved about the Africa.Now Summit was that we, Africans had discussions about the Africa we want lead by our presidents and other distinguished speakers. Young people were included in high level panels and they also filled the room eager to hear, learn and also question what’s not working well. It was a chance to have honest conversations about leadership, development, economic growth and most importantly policy reform that will create lasting economic gain for Africa’s youthful population.
My take away is that a lot more institutions should follow the step of the ASLC and include more young people in conversations that have a direct impact on their future. This will facilitate understanding and a close of a knowledge gap amongst the youth, and it will also ensure that the power brokers and decision makers make a conscious effort to design and implement policies and programs that are inclusive of youth participation and geared towards improving their employability and access to all manner of resources that they are excluded from currently.