The youth are increasingly becoming an important part of reforming a number of issues in the East Africa region ranging from development, social, environmental, and humanitarian action.

YouLead is a cross-border youth leadership summit that aims to provide the youth with an opportunity to learn from each other, share hands-on experiences & opportunities, brainstorm on fresh ideas, and come up with innovative solutions to the challenges they face. It is a platform for action-oriented and most inspiring young leaders, change-makers, start-uppers, social entrepreneurs, and youth activists who attempt to demonstrate motivations in changing their societies for better. Each year, the summit gathers a diverse group of youth leaders, business people, regional technical experts and innovators from across the region for a collective journey of explorations, reflections and networking.

Themed Unlocking Youth Leadership Potential: Youth at the Centre of the East African Integration, the Summit was hosted by one of our partners MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation in partnership with the East African Community (EAC), German Agency for Development Cooperation – German Cooperation (GIZ) – IIDEAS project for East Africa, and Mobisol in Arusha, Tanzania, from 27th November to 1st December 2017,.

The summit brought together over 160 youth from Eastern Africa countries and other representatives from different countries in Africa. The objectives of the summit were to:

  • facilitate appreciation of the current opportunities within and beyond the region;
  • create an opportunity to deepen the partnership and cooperation among youth from participating sectors/countries;
  • encourage youth to develop sustainable projects by rolling regional and global issues;
  • and nourish constructive exchange of ideas, good practices, and hands-on skill development among the youth.

The summit was structured into public addresses, plenary sessions and thematic sessions. The sessions addressed a wide range of topics including Technology, Governance, Leadership, Environment, Climate change, and Role of youth in humanitarian response and emergency and concluded with a “call to action” that will be addressed to the EAC and its Partner States.

The East Africa Academy Centre ran a session on the role of the youth in humanitarian response and emergency and had the opportunity to present the professional development opportunities available on the Academy online learning platform Kaya.

Over 30 delegates registered for the presentation, which was very well received. they were also excited by the fact that the platform can be accessed freely. Representatives from International Youth Africa, Murua Girl Child Education Program, (a CBO in Narok that trains young girls and save them from Female Genital Mutilation – FGM), and McKinsey Social initiative (an organisation that runs youth capacity building activities in Kenya and Uganda) showed interest in using the platform as a reference library for their volunteers and other youths who attend their trainings.

The MedSIN student’s organization was very interested in using Kaya throughout its networks and also keen to pursue opportunities for an orientation session on Kaya for its members to be done online or in person in 2018.

The role of the youth in humanitarian response session elicited a lot of discussion among the delegates with the youths talking about the role they have played in their communities to sensitize people in case there is a warning of upcoming drought or floods so that they can prepare accordingly, on nutrition and also championing changes in the harmful cultural perceptions like the female genital mutilation as well changes from livestock dependency to smart farming in the arid and semi-arid areas. Youths from South Sudan are championing for peace by uniting the youth from the different fighting camps to dialogue together and set an example that the dispute between leaders does not have to make them enemies of each other.

The summit was very informative and provided a great opportunity to share the Academy’s learning and knowledge products with the youth.

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