German Embassy in Accra hosts conference on „Youth of Africa"Enlarge image Mr. Bernhard Abels and the panel members (© German Embassy Accra)
For the first time, German diplomats based in different African countries came together for a 2-day-regional conference to discuss challenges of the African youth and their potential for peace and development on the continent. The conference was organized by the German Embassy in Accra and took place from 17th to 18th January 2017.
“We are happy that the conference takes place in Accra, for Ghana is an important hub for Germany in Africa”, the German Ambassador Christoph Retzlaff stated.
The Regional Director of Sub-Saharan Africa of the German Federal Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Georg Schmidt, came from Berlin to attend the conference. During his stay he also met stakeholders of the Ghanaian-German bilateral cooperation and hold political talks.
In most of the Sub-Saharan countries over 60 % are young men and women under the age 35. What is the influence of the demographics on political issues and how can youth empowerment be achieved? During the conference the German diplomats discussed these issues, compared the situation of young people in their host countries and shared theirs views on the instruments used to involve the youth in political processes.
On Tuesday, 17th January, the German Embassy organized a panel discussion in order to get a detailed idea of concerns and wishes of Ghanaian youth. All the panelists, Mr. Parick Awuah, Founder and President of Ashesi University College, Ms. Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, Art historian, writer and filmmaker, Mr. Prosper Hoetu, executive director of you-Net, Franklin Cudjoe, founding prseident and CEO of Imani Thinktank, Rev. Emmanuel Acheampong, national catholic youth chaplain and Mr. Ibrahim Halidu, Youth wing of NDC, work intensively with the young people of Ghana.
In the very fruitful discussion Patrick Awuah stressed the need for economic education; the need to educate young people to create jobs and the need to make them active participants in the African economy. With regards to culture aNana Oforiatta-Ayim, said that there are already many cultural initiatives by young Africans, that are also economically relevant. She rather called for change of narrative about Europe and its image that is being portrayed to Africans. All of the panelists agreed that good governance, fair trade and good education are key elements for positive transformation in Africa.
Over the next few years, Germany will intensify its cooperation with the African continent. It has pledged to make Africa’s development a core topic at the G20 summit, which Germany is chairing this year. In preparation for the summit G20 countries will discuss mechanisms to encourage private investment in Africa and consider how to improve economic conditions on the continent. The Federal Government wants to make its contribution to creating better prospects for the youth in Africa.