It is under this year’s theme “Challenging the notion of Success in the African Community- What is Success? What is Failure?” that the YABS Network reunited several speakers including H.E. Mrs. Novisi Abaidoo, Ambassador of Ghana in Belgium; Annelies Decat from Unia; Krystel Sil Sikana, founder & CEO of HiSHi; Cynthia Mukendy, social entrepreneur; Nadia Aime, Digital Mompreneur.
Aïssatou began by welcoming the initiative of such event aiming at connecting and empowering the African Diaspora Youth and congratulated the previous speakers for encouraging the audience to act for what they believe in despite all the obstacles.
She explained how a youth-led platform such as ACP YPN – aiming at playing an active role in policy-making processes and ensuring that all young professionals can become active and capable world-changing citizens – helped her become more successful in achieving her professional and personal projects. Indeed, she exemplified how ACP YPN trusted her expertise and gave her two great opportunities :
- She was involved in high – level political dialogue including the Africa – EU Civil Society Forum that took place in July 2017 in Tunis. She noted that youth organisations were under-represented – only 5 out of 80 civil society representatives were youth delegates – although the main theme of the Forum was on ‘youth’ . For Aïssatou, this experience emphasized the great need to include youth perspectives in policy dialogue.
- In October 2017, she was one of 36 youth chosen across the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) to represent youth in the first ever AU-EU Youth PlugIn Initiave. Over 5 weeks, they were tasked with developing a framework for youth policy on 6 different topics, which led to the publication of the Youth Agenda that was delivered to the Heads of States at the 5th African Union- European Union Summit.
These wonderful experiences allowed her to develop new skills such as policy writing, public speaking while confronting her to development cooperation’s main challenges. Most of all, such opportunities help create spaces for new ideas and projects which are essential to integrate African youth perspectives into the future development endeavours on the African continent.
Aïssatou concluded her speech with these words:
“Young people have so much potential, especially those from Africa and the diaspora. If opportunities are not there, let’s create our own and make our voices heard”.
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