Young people constitute a large and rapidly growing proportion of the population in many parts of the world as a whole. These young people live in a rapidly changing world, faced with many pressures such as discomforting confusion, disquieting irritations, perplexities, and adjustment problems as a result of rapid social change. To this effect, Volunteers for the creation and Promotion of Development Projects in Cameroon (VOPID) took this extra initiative to mobilise young people from all over Africa to discuss on issues that affect the youths and the entire continent. This brought about the birth the Pan-African Youth Forum. The first edition of the forum had as prime importance pave the way for issues concerning Africa to be discussed.
VOPID is a non-profit youth led International Organisation based in Cameroon bringing across volunteers and intents both in an out of the country. As a volunteer in this NGO, I participated in the organization of the Pan-African Youth Forum that took place from August 12th – 17th 2017.
In line with Global Development Agenda, handling youth affairs should be of prime importance in Africa. As Africa in miniature, it was strategic for Cameroon to involve young people from all over Africa to discuss on issues that affect the African continent and the entire world.
These brought to life the Pan-African Youth forum. The aim of this forum to expose young people of the African continent to the challenges faced by the continent such as; climate change, security challenges and entrepreneurship and their role in resolving these challenges. This event took place during the International Youth Day (IYD) celebrated every August 12th.
The pioneer edition of the forum was hosted by the South West Region of Cameroon. The event was expected to bring across over 500 young persons from all over the African continent inspired by the conviction that, young people’s engagement in socio-cultural activities, active citizenship and entrepreneurship is the key to the Africa we want.
The Pan-African youth Forum was organised in partnership with: The Cameroon National Youth Council, Cameroon Youth League, Women for Africa, The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, the Ministry of Secondary Education, BORSTAL Institute, the National Employment Fund, Pan-African Institute for Development West Africa, the University of Buea, and the Limbe City Council.
The main objective of the forum was to bring together young people from all over Africa in order to devise a common strategy on their involvement in current crucial issues in Africa. The forum successfully brought young people from several different African countries amongst which are the Republic of Chad, Niger, Togo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Benin, Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the host country Cameroon.
This was the first edition of the Pan-African Youth Forum hosted by the town of Legendary and hospitality (Buea), South West Region of Cameroon. This offered youth the opportunity to reflect on the major challenges facing African countries. The different articulations and themes of the forum discussed on questions of climate change, entrepreneurship, peace and security have permitted participants to reinforce their competence and knowledge to become promoters of development in Africa.
“We should note that the fight against insecurity should not be carried out by Cameroon alone, but by all Africa countries and the whole world. We thus invite young Africans to take their destiny in their hands and to find together solutions to fight against this plague, in order to keep peace in our countries and to help our governments in their functions. With regard to the entrepreneurship, it is time for the youths to arise and understand their potentials and initiatives in self-employment. I invite our governments to pay more attention to these young people by putting the means in place in order to allow them to carry out their projects. If youth spearhead our nations, then the large African population made up of mainly young people is an inexhaustible potential for the development of our cherished and attractive countries.”
– Director and Founder of VOPID (Mrs. Benga Bounya)
1st Presentation: Climate Change (Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development) by Mr. EKWADI SONYE
2nd Presentation: Security Challenges in Africa by Mr. Christian Fonye
3rd Presentation: Entrepreneurship by Mrs. Siri Sipora Nanga
Written by Earth Charter Young Leader: Rohdof Lactem Yengeh