African Leadership Academy (ALA) is very delighted to join the United Nations in recognizing the immense potential and celebrating the extraordinary achievements of young people around the world on International Youth Day, August 12, 2013.
International Youth Day (IYD), celebrated yearly on August 12, is a United Nations-designated day of observance established in 2000 to raise awareness of issues affecting young people around the world. It is also a day to recognize the efforts of the world’s youth in creating a global society, and aims to promote ways to engage them in being more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities. The theme for International Youth Day 2013 is “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”
African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a leading pan-African institution that seeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting a powerful network of leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact on the continent. ALA believes that Africa will be developed by Africans, and in line with the theme for IYD 2013, promotes the retention of African talent in Africa, as well as the return of African talent to the continent from the diaspora.
In celebrating International Youth Day 2013, ALA focuses on the need to maximize the potential of African youth at home and abroad to contribute optimally to the development of the continent. Demographic studies show that Africa has the largest youth population in the world of over 200 million people, a figure which is expected to double by 2045.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa estimates that by 2015, over one-fourth of the world’s workforce will be African; conversely the huge vacuum of opportunities for the African youth makes the gainful employment of this young workforce extremely doubtful. In spite of the fact that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa, unemployment rates across the continent hover around 70%, and the World Bank estimates that about 60% of all unemployed Africans are between the ages of 15 and 24. It is clearly evident therefore, that Africa’s great challenge is how to effectively utilize its youth bulge to drive the continent’s development.
Over time, the allure of securing quality education and improved economic opportunities has led to a prolonged exodus of many young Africans from the continent, resulting in an erroneous belief that the best opportunities in life are outside Africa. However, the vast majority of the African youth reside in the continent, and engage in endless pursuits of economic opportunities. There is an urgent need for concerted efforts by governments, businesses, non-profits and all Africans to create an enabling environment for the African youth to gain access to the resources, skills and networks that will enable them to contribute effectively to African development.
As part of ALA’s ongoing efforts to actively engage the African youth in the development of the continent, the Academy hereby announces the first edition of the International Youth Day Essay Writing Competition open to young Africans between the ages of 15-19 years. Between August 12 and September 12, 2013, young Africans are challenged to write on the topic: “How can governments, businesses, non-profits, individuals and the youth collaborate to maximize Africa’s youth potential for the continent’s development and prosperity?” The writers of the best three essays will be awarded scholarships to attend ALA’s Global Scholars Program in July 2014, a unique international three-week entrepreneurial leadership summer camp, and the top ten essays will be published on the ALA website.
Winners will be announced on African Youth Day, November 1, 2013.
Link to Website: http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/news/ala-announces-international-youth-day-essay-competition
By: Faith Abiodun, Communications Associate
About African Leadership Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing ongoing leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit www.africanleadershipacademy.org.
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