Benjamin K.N. Larbi, an alumnus of Regent-Ghana, recently served as a Committee co-Chairperson at the 6th African Youth and Governance Conference, which took place from the 4th-8th of August, 2014, in Lusaka-Zambia.
The African Youth and Governance Conference, is an annual event which brings together youth from across Africa, to discuss issues critical to the development of the continent.
Ben’s Committee, the Committee on Governance and Leadership Development was adjudged the Best Participating Committee as well as the Most Disciplined Committee at the 6th African Youth and Governance Conference.
This year’s conference, saw young leaders from a number of African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia to mention but a few taking part as delegates. The conference was held under the theme: “Investing in Africa’s human capital for peace and development”.
Dignitaries present at the conference included members from the diplomatic corp, as well as representatives from the business community in Zambia. In attendance, was the Mayor of Lusaka, His Worship Mulenga Sata, who delivered the opening address.
Commenting on the awards, Ben said, “It’s a great feeling when you are recognized for your efforts. From the very beginning we all worked as a team, and put the team’s agenda first at all times.”
He further said “I’m particularly happy that our draft resolution as a committee was successfully defended and passed. This would form the basis of post-conference advocacy work. On behalf of my fellow Committee co-chair, Lilly Oseyda Mensah I wish to thank the AYGC 2014 Board for this recognition and honour. I am grateful to my Committee Co-Chair for her hardwork, drive, and great sense of duty. I also thank the Committee members for their, cooperation, sterling performance, and dedication”.
As a co-Chairperson for the Committee on Governance and Leadership Development (GOLD), Ben, together with his fellow co-chair, was responsible for providing leadership to the committee. The Committee was tasked with the responsibility of drafting a resolution aimed at increasing the “involvement of the youth in governance and key leadership activities at the national and regional levels”.
Some of the other Committees at the conference included the Committee on International Relations, Committee on Agriculture and Food security, Committee on Environment and Renewal Energy, Committee on Education and Culture. Similarly, each Committee was assigned a developmental challenge to offer solutions to. After drafting a resolution, each committee then goes on to defend the resolution at the General Assembly session of the conference. Resolutions that are successfully defended and passed at the General Assembly, form the basis of post-conference youth advocacy work.
Commenting on the committee work, Ben indicated, “during the course of our research work at the committee level we came across some startling statistics. It came to our notice that although over 60 percent of the population of most African countries is constituted by people below the age of 35, many youth were marginalized from the governance processes in a number of African countries. As a committee we sought to highlight strategies to develop the leadership potential of young people, in the public and private sectors, thus increasing youth participation in governance processes".
He further said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity this conference has provided to influence youth-related policies passed by governments. I’m thankful to the University for its support and enabling environment to harness my leadership potential. My training at Regent, served me well in the discharge of my duties".
The African Youth and Governance Conference is an initiative of Youth Bridge Foundation a youth-serving Non-Governmental Organisation with headquarters in Accra, and accredited with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status. More information on the conference is available at www.aygconference.org.
Members of this committee included Chilumba Martin Chilungi (Zambia), Isaac Yeboah Afari (Ghana), Tinashe Kasweshi (Zambia), Delight Hangaala (Zambia), Constance Pelete (Zambia), and Malama Andrew Chinungi (Zambia).