The 5th Africa Emerging Leaders Conference was held in Strathmore University, in Nairobi, Kenya. This took place on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th October 2014. We had delegates from Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The first day of the conference, Thursday 9th October, started with brief entertainment from a young upcoming artist, Mr. Danson Kiundi, who is a classical musician. We then had the opening remarks from Mr. David Owino, a Partner at Ascent Africa. He highlighted the link between making money and raising good families, in addition to stating categorically that indeed, fortune favors the brave and stressed that “Life cannot be measured in economic terms, there is much more to life.” The key note address was given by the first Regional Director for WYA Africa, Mrs. Caroline S. Maingi, who encouraged that we continue to foster a life of virtue. She emphasized that people are not just a statistic, and stressed that family allows us to become more human, a real school of virtue. She stressed the importance of work in today’s world. Miss Hannah Ondiek elaborately introduced WYA to the distinguished delegates.
This was followed with a panel discussion on Morality, Drug Abuse and the Family. The panel was honored with Hon. John M. Mututho, Chairman for NACADA, Mrs. Susan Kariuki Mwongera, CEO Youth Agenda Kenya, Mrs. Caroline Rarieya, a Counseling Psychologist and Mr. Peterson Mwangi, a University Counselor.
Mr. Thomas Mundia, a course leader of Developing Leadership Capabilities at Strathmore Business School, passionately deeply traced the philosophical roots and tides of the notion of the family and definitively proposed that we foster good families, if we are to develop economically well. Youth Employment was elaborately discussed by Mr. George Waigi, the National Program Coordinator for ILO Kenya.
Day two of the conference began with Mrs. Julie Gichuru, a mother and celebrated TV Host at Citizen TV. She stressed the vital role that the media plays in shaping the family agenda, referring to a book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, she cited the role that the media can play to change the perspective of people like it changed the attitude of the people of the United States towards slavery. She cited that our conformity to the images that are splashed on the screens despite their negativity makes the media keep portraying in order to sell however if we refused and complained about what is aired a lot could change.
Youth Involvement in Economic Development was discussed by Ms. Nina Werner, the Regional Director for Mara Foundation East Africa, who stressed the need for mentorship of young people. Mr. Peter Mungai, an entrepreneur and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, spoke about Youth Entrepreneurship and how he started up from being a plain lawyer to a wealthy entrepreneur.
The climax of the conference was the panel discussion on Marriage and the Family. Pr. Simon Mbevi, Mr. Ernest Wamboye, Mr. Oscar K. Beauttah, and Dr. Emily Obwaka led us through their marriage and family experience and reiterated the need for values and principles in the family as a way to shape the family, they all mentioned the true aspect being that “Marriage is challenging and it takes two to go through and not one”.
Throughout the conference, it was easy to see that the family is indeed the place where we begin to form society and in turn develop as economies. Only after developing stable and good families are we able to secure the ideals we strive for as societies.
We thank all everyone who made preparations for the event, most sincerely our volunteers, interns and staff at WYA Africa. We extend deep appreciation to our partners, the Strathmore Law School, Domark Printing Works, Mara Foundation. We especially thank all the emerging leaders and delegates from all the countries that found time and sacrificed to make it for the conference. Do keep in touch, not just on Facebook, but also via calls.
We wish all our regions successful Emerging Leaders Conferences too. We are already beginning to plan for the 2015 Africa Emerging Leaders Conference. For any inquiries, write to us firstname.lastname@example.org.