‘Africa Beyond Aid can be achieved through youth mentorship’

Professor Ransford Gyampo, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, has observed that the Africa Beyond Aid agenda must delve much into the practical ways of achieving the vision through youth development, mentorship and leadership.

He underscored the need to address the gap between the youth and governments as well as create a sustained avenue to prepare young people in Africa towards governance, development, mentorship and leadership.

Prof Gyampo made the observation at the launch of Ghana hosting the 11th edition of the African Youth and Governance Convergence (AYGC) scheduled for August 11 to 18 at Abokobi near Accra on the theme: ‘Partnerships for youth development- Key to building Africa Beyond Aid’.

The event, which is under the auspices of the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), in collaboration with the National Youth Authority (NYA) will be attended by 120 youths drawn from 25 African countries and 20 from the Diaspora.

It is a week-long convergence initiated and convened by YBF since 2009, to bring together stakeholders to analyse policy documents and deliberate on issues affecting the continent.

Prof Gyampo noted that “the convergence forms part of efforts to address gap between the youth and governments as well as create a sustained avenue to prepare them in Africa for governance, development, mentorship and leadership.

 “Africa has the youngest population in the world with about 41 per cent of them below 15 years old while another 19 per cent are between 15 and 24 years, it is estimated in 2055, the continent’s youth population aged 15 to 24 years, will be more than double 2015 total of 226 million.

“However the continent remains hostile to youth participation especially in areas of substantive politics and governance, there is massive age gap between Africa’s youthful population and its leadership while average age of African population is 19.5 per cent of leaders, according to a 2017 UNDP report it is 62 years.

“Africa is world’s largest age gap between governors and governed, raises concerns about how well decision-makers understand needs and aspirations of young people, the disparity can cause huge challenges such as political and social unrest, criminality and armed conflict if not addressed.

“Ability of African governments and other stakeholders to tap into energy and dynamism of burgeoning youthful population will be an important factor determining whether the continent prospers or suffers in future. –GNA

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