Florence Kamaitha: #YouthDay Message on How Young Africans Can Contribute to Civic Engagement
Africa’s youth population boom means that they cannot be left behind in civic engagement because whatever decisions made matters on their future, hence the need for African youths to actively participate in civic engagement.
We spoke with young people from around the continent about the world they want, especially how young people can contribute to Africa’s development.
In this mini-series which will begin and end today as part of the International Youth Day (IYD), I will be sharing the opinion of young leaders across the African continent on the theme of this year’s International Youth Day: “Youth Civic Engagement.”
The fifth episode of this IYD series is from Florence Kamaitha, a YALI fellow who has stepped up to beat this predominant challenge that is creating a barrier to girl-child education in Kenya. Florence is working to keep girls in class one pad at a time through PadHaven Initiative.
Here is Florence’s message to African youths on civic engagement:
Nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60% of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. This means that there is a need for African youth to rise up and take this continent forward through engaging actively in social and economic activities. After all, we are the ones who will inherit the continent, and we need to be engaged in shaping it.
We are a continent that has its challenges and these present opportunities for African Youth to innovate and solve these problems. This is the best time yet for the youth to be engaged in the development of Africa. Africa is rising and it is up to the youth to be part of it, by taking advantage of the opportunities we have. We are at a place where investors are interested in investing in Africa, as they know that it’s a continent on the move. Are we aware of these opportunities?
Through entrepreneurship, our youth can innovate solutions to most of the problems we are facing and also create employment for other young people. We have to stop asking what our Governments are doing for the people, and start asking what we are doing for the people. Are we taking part in conversation about development? Are we offering solutions to our problems? Are we demanding a seat at the table when it comes to policies concerning our continent.
We need to take up the challenge of shaping Africa as young people. We need to be more interested in the development of Africa as it affects each and every one of us.
You can connect with Florence on twitter via @Kamaitha or follow the conversation via the hashtag #YouthDay or #YouthPower