Young Africans Leadership Initiative, YALI is a Mandela Washington Fellowship flagship program, focused on bringing African civic, business, and community leaders for academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
The YALI TechCamp Reconnect Workshop is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Information Programmes (IIP) and organised in partnership with the U.S. Mission in Nigeria and the Co-Creation Hub (CCHub).
The three-day programme, which started on Wednesday, had Russell Brooks, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate, giving an opening remark in which he stated that the essence of the programme was to assist the young participants contribute to the development of African continent.
“The TechCamp has brought together 46 participants from 15 countries. When former U.S. president, Barack Obama, established the Young African Leaders Initiative in 2014, he did so out of the conviction that the future of Africa is largely in the hands of its youth,” said Russell Brooks.
The American Consulate is pleased to host the YALI TechCamp Reconnect Workshop which aims to accelerate the development of innovative technology solutions and digital strategies for strengthening democratic governance, transparency and citizen engagement, says US Embassy Information Officer, Russell Brooks.
For John Bray, United States Consul General in Lagos, in providing support for this initiative, the U.S. government had demonstrated its belief that real solutions to African problems can best be developed by Africans.
“When former U.S. president, Barack Obama, established the Young African Leaders Initiative in 2014, he did so out of the conviction that the future of Africa is largely in the hands of its youth. Your presence here today is a practical demonstration of that conviction.”
He stated that their desire was to help young people tackle some of their very serious problems.
“I am sure that your commitment and passion will lead you and your colleagues to share some best practices or identify technological innovations that will help in our quest to improve governance at all levels and ensure greater transparency and accountability, he said
The United States of America has identified corruption as one of the factors hampering development of the continent, adding that it is the belief of the government that solution can only come from among the people.
“I am sure it is your hope that your skill and experience, the wisdom of the facilitators, or perhaps your commitment and passion will lead you and your colleagues to share some best practices or identify technological innovations that will help us in our quest to improve governance at all levels and ensure greater transparency and accountability.”
Many social media users all around the world have learnt to use social media as a tool for providing solution.
During the three-day workshop, participants worked with local and international experts like Nigeria’s own Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, the coding hero and founder of Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, on best practices in applying low-cost technology tools and digital strategies to design and implement projects that promote good governance, transparency, and citizen engagement across the continent.
Africa is plagued by poverty, gender inequality, poor health indices, bad governance and non- adherence to the rule of law, among other problems. Many youths are developing ideas and learning skills to address these problems.
Challenges facing Africa are numerous.They range from poverty and poor governance to gender inequality and armed conflict, among others.
It was a platform to discuss technological solutions to problems they had discovered in their environments.