Pan Africanism ideology still alive- Ndengwe
Africa has unique assets that must be invested on the youth
The Chairman of the African Advisory Board ( AAB), Professor Francois Ndengwe says it is important for African leaders and governments inclusive of Botswana , to embrace Pan Africanism ideology amongst young Batswana through robust investment on the youth who are the capable generation for turning Africa into a more developed and united continent.
Professor Ndengwe made the call during the African Union public lecture intervention on Pan Africanism and Agenda 2063 held in Gaborone this week.
The lecture was held under the theme “Pan Africanism is Our Vital Necessity. Why the African Youth should be the driving? He pointed that during colonialism era many used to look down upon Africa, but it is no longer the case in the present modern day Africa because of the former struggle leaders who fought the new Africa and paved way for the current leaders in respective African territories.
Ndengwe therefore said the youth as the future leaders need to be empowered by the leaders on issues relating to policy making decisions as well as investing on young people on areas of health, education and business. He also underscored that there is very limited talk about Pan Africanism amongst African young people and mostly they just hear about the ideology on history books, though it is still relevant and practical.
“The concept of Pan Africanism is what brought liberation to the African continent through the works of leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere who wanted to see a better Africa for all Africans including the young people. Moreover, government’s necessity is to put resources on youth for them to be educated and motivated “he said. He further pointed that African Union have shown strong commitment to build prosperous African youth as this is evidenced by the formulation of vision 2063 youth agenda and the 2017 declaration of African youth year under the theme ‘ Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the youth, and it will continue to implemented by stakeholders moving forward.
Ndengwe the Cameroonian born academic cum businessman is of the view that the supreme duty of African leaders is to include the African young person in building of a prosperous and making Africa ‘invincible’ so that no any other power can overcome Africa. He underscored that the African continent has got three unique important assets than any other continent in the world. Such assets include demographics, natural resources and the land and with these being utilised wisely, then the 21st century will be the African century as compared to China as some people predicts, though it is facing aging population challenge.
“The huge demographics within Africa especially of the young population who only need education and turn into a quality working class will see the region having educated entrepreneurs hence Africa will be dominant” reckoned Ndengwe.
Ndengwe observed that the contemporary Africa is the victim of multiple problems that deter youth development and empowerment and as a result the young people‘s participation is limited. He also reiterated that women participation is very and it should be largely harnessed as well.
For her part the regional coordinator of African Youth Clubs Ms Shamil Agosi said African Youth Clubs have been playing a key role in engaging the governments and other stakeholders on the importance of empowering the young people. She highlighted that the vision 2063 agenda on the youth is committed to building an educated African young person whose mind set will be entrepreneurship driven.