WYA Africa Director Obadias Ndaba was invited to be part of a panel discussion, as a moderator, during the recent Global Peace Convention under the theme: ‘Conflict Resolution, Peace and Development’. The panel discussion was just a day after the convention was officially opened by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki alongside Ethipian President Girma Wolde Giorgis, the Founding President of the republic of Seychelles James R.Mancham, Chairman of GPFF Dr. Hyun Jin Moon and other dignitaries from around the world.
The topic of the panel discussion was ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship Partnerships for Youth Empowerment’,the session had interesting panellists: Kenyan Tycoon Manu Chandaria, Senator Emanuel Jones from Georgia (USA), KCB Director Joseph Adongo and a representative from Kenyan Ministry of National Planing Eric L. Namwalo
Obadias started his remarks mentioning the role of entrepreneurship into developement and why it matters to youth. Economic Development is all about wealth creation and value addition to limited resources available – and entrepreneurship creates wealth and adds value to resources. ‘Not only Entrepreurship creates wealth but more importantly It gives people a sense that they are valued,
a feeling that they capable, talented and gifted to take control of their own matters in thier own hands’ He said.
‘40% of the world’s population is under the age of 20 years of age and over 1 billion people are between the ages of 15 to 25. In developing countries like Africa 60% of population is under 25 years of age. These statistics present both opportunities and challenges. Opportunities because we know that young people represent the potential of economic developement if productively engaged. On the other hand these same figures present challenges as young people can be a source of tension and conflict if they are not engaged and lack opportunities. To unleash youth potential there must be a sound environment where youth’s talents can be utilized for the benifit of not only themselves but the whole society’. He added.
In his presentation, Mr. Joesph Adongo ( Director of East Africa biggest bank) advocated for setting up youth training institutions, business incubation centers and partnerships between youth and financial institutions.
Kenya’s tycoon Manu Chandaria gave an inspirational talk – saying that there is no reason why Africa is poor – referring to comments made by Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka the day before that South Korea was at par with Kenya 50 years ago but now it has a GDP bigger than all 53 African countries
GDP combined. He said it is shocking and shameful. He told the audiance that there is no such ‘right to job for anyone’ but responsability to create jobs.
Senator Emanuel Jones gave a short inspirational presentation, largely his own experince as an entrepreneur in Atlanta – he also talked of his humble backgroung, a sign that anyone with determination can achieve his/her dreams.