Friday, February 19, 2021 – The World Youth Alliance Africa hosted the Dignity Forum 2021 with the theme: “The importance of a Person-centered approach to policy development”. Which was attended by over 70 young people from across Sub-Saharan Africa. This was a much-needed discussion in light of controversial bills introduced in several African countries including the Kenyan senate with 2 bills; The Reproductive Healthcare Bill 2019 and The Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill 2019.
The forum started a few minutes before 4:00 pm with introductory videos followed by welcome remarks and an introduction to World Youth Alliance by the Regional Director Ms. Cynthia Maingi. Ms. Maingi then invited the Regional Director of Operations Kevin Alando who was the MC for the day to take over.
Kevin started by welcoming everyone and introducing the keynote speaker, Mr. Eliud Njogu from Strathmore Business School. To speak on the main theme, ”the importance of a Person-centered approach to policy development” where he emphasized the need for understanding the human person when formulating policies. He also mentioned that youth participation in policy formulation is a central component of our time. “Unless people themselves are the driving force of their own development, no amount of investment or provision of technology and inputs will bring about any lasting improvements in their living”.
Mr. Njogu’s presentation was followed by a presentation from, The Chevening Scholarships team; Edith Bosire and Jane Gitau who shared about the Chevening scholarships, a UK Government’s global scholarship program that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study in the UK. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding professionals from all over the world to pursue a one-year master’s degree in any subject at any UK university.
Lastly, the Emerging Leaders Foundation represented by Andrew Kamoche shared about their Leadership Development program, where through their foundation they provide practical, values-based leadership and mentorship to promising young Africans so that they can become positive agents of change in society. The forum ended with closing remarks from Kevin Alando, thanking all the participants and speakers and a call to action to all the young people present to take advantage of the opportunities available in order to position themselves to influence policy at all levels.