Today, November 1st 2018, is Africa Youth day and we are joining together with the rest of the World to raise youth voices against corruption in Africa.
Our flagship African youth Factbook (2017) revealed that African youth are full of hope for the future – 86% of African youth are optimistic about their value in society and are excited about their potential. But not only are youth hopeful, they also carry a tremendous demographic dividend: young people constitute 60% of the total population of the continent and this will escalate in the next 50 years – to a point that African youth will constitute 25% of the total population of youth on earth. What tremendous potential!
The potential for African youth to take lead in pushing the continent to the Africa We Want is greater than all estimates, demographics and projections that have been made .Today therefore represents a watershed period for the continent – a proximal point in time for young people in Africa to make that one final jump into the future – into the prosperity that was promised to us by the founders of an independent African reality in 1963.
We have just concluded an innovative process with African youth based on Trends and Scenarios for the future – The African Youth Scenarios project. African youth from across the continent told us the story of the future – a story of three African Horizons. Today I am reminded of the story of the Red Horizon, a story of the future that speaks of failure, collapse, exploitation and political discord. This future will be fuelled by an establishment that has failed to capitalize on its dividend to end the grip on corruption in the continent. It is for this reason that African YMCAs, led by the Young Advocates for change in the YMCA Movement are today leading the charge to speak for better access to education and the removal of corruption enforced barriers to access.
Africa must fully utilise her potential to fully finance her own development, as envisioned in the Agenda 2063 framework. For this, it is vital that our debt management, our infrastructure development, and our thinking towards ecological sustainability be grounded on transparency and accountability.
African youth are the most potent and hopeful of generations to date, and it is for institutions of governance to protect and convert this potential energy of hope to the kinetic of change, prosperity and sound leadership. This is why I am confident that Africa’s youth are more than ready to meet the challenge of corruption.
To them I say, Wherever you are – in the schools, in religious institutions, at work – our belief in you is that you have the power to lead the process of setting up an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, representing a dynamic force in global arena.
Together let us build that Africa.
Carlos M. Sanvee
Africa Alliance of YMCAs