DIVAKAR YADAV / New Delhi
Ensuring that youth continue to play a catalytic role in socio-economic advancement globally through their innovative solutions and sustained engagement with each other, a Youth Town Hall was organized by Africa-Asia Youth Foundation (AAYFO) India chapter in association with the Nigerian High Commission, New Delhi on February 05, 2020, to promote and develop youth based programs and formulate an achievable strategic plan for SDG’s in sync with the United Nations SDG’s Agenda 2030.
The purpose of the event was to develop and strengthen cooperation between youth and other potential stakeholders, to promote the establishment and strengthen ties of friendship and solidarity between participants, to discuss items on the agenda and ensure their follow up at national and international level.
The event was another step taken by AAYFO to draw on youth experiences with addressing development-related issues in order to identify means through which youth can play a role in the implementation process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as ponder upon the Follow up and Review process.
The Town Hall 2020 kick started with a message by His Excellency, Major General Chris Owushi Eze, who emphasised on the importance of today’s youth who can build a better environment by learning more about the current scenario. He urged youth to learn new culture, meet new people, work and design strategies to engage more young minds.
The first session in the Town Hall 2020 was “Education” moderated by Ankita Nawakhala, founder, The New Education Project. She engaged the participants through some mindful activities and shared some relevant facts about the status of education in India and Africa, and how through small steps we can improve the access of education to a much larger population and improve the overall quality of current education system. Subsequently, a representative from the Embassy of Israel gave a brief about the education system in Israel and how military is also a significant part in achieving that goal. It was then followed by the session on entrepreneurship by Keshav Gupta, founder, the DAIS. He emphasised on the experiences and common challenges faced by entrepreneurs in their journey. Keshav said, “Entrepreneurship is a process of creativity and I personally believe that half of the problems of Asia and Africa together can be solved with entrepreneurship”.
Focussing on poverty, Myrrha Musua, Resource Director, AAYFO shared her vision on the theme of ‘Poverty and Vocational Training & Skill Development in Africa-Asia’ through a brief presentation. She talked about how poverty leads to unprivileged life and a large number of population is suffering from the stigma of poverty. She also focused on how poverty can be eradicated by giving access to good quality education, with a focus on technical and skill development aspects. She also felt that people from local community or villages who have benefitted from education and are doing better should also give back to the community.
In the day long proceedings more than 50 youth participated from African and Asian diaspora to share their ideas, objectives and come up with problem solving models on issues of education, entrepreneurship, poverty, vocational training & skill development, gender equality and public policy.
Established in 2018 by a convergence of youth leaders from Nepal, Uganda, India, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Afghanistan, Ghana, Vietnam and China, Africa-Asia Youth Foundation is a dynamic youth network and was founded to seek pathways in fostering collaborations between youths of both continents. In this spirit, AAYFO had successfully launched its Centre for Learning, Social Enterprise & Innovation on November 8th, 2019 at Delhi University in presence of His Excellency, Dr. Christopher Nwanoro, Minister Counsellor, Nigeria High Commission; Indrayani Mulay, Deputy Director, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); Professor Rabi Narayan Kar, Principal, SLC, Delhi University and other stakeholders.