By: Geneive Walker, Dalhousie student
In August 2018, I was a Nova Scotia representative at the African Youth & Governance Conference (AYGC) in Accra, Ghana. This opportunity was possible through the Youth Bridge Foundation and funding through the Johnson Scholarship Foundation at Dalhousie University. The Youth Bridge Foundation provides a platform to mentor youth in Africa and the African Diaspora.
The theme for the conference was “Mobilizing Africa’s Youth to Build a Continent Beyond Aid” with delegates from fourteen countries. Recognizing Africa as the continent with the world’s most youthful population, the conference organizers engaged youth in discussions regarding the lack of leadership opportunities for young people. They challenged us to identify strategies aimed at addressing these problems and bring about transformation.
The AYGC conference was a tremendous success and harnessed youth’s potential and created an environment to learn and grow. It was a wonderful learning experience which involved daily team building exercises, plenary sessions and committee meetings. The conference culminated with eight committees identifying a specific problem and presenting a motion followed by a debate. The AYGC debate was centered on the relevance, praiseworthiness or the inadequacy of the motion by each committee. These motions were voted based on their persuasiveness to inform or convince other committees about the significance of their arguments.
This experience demonstrated the amount of work required to build a case and present results. As a member of the Leadership & Governance Committee, I am proud that we received rave reviews about our presentation and the passing of our motion. I found this exercise both thrilling and rewarding, because we developed skills that will serve us well throughout our future careers.
For more information on these programs and opportunities please visit our Diversity page.