#IYDAfrica : African Youth speak out!

12th August saw the birth of something beautiful on the African continent in regard to Youth matters.
Youth Hub Africa hosted a Twitter conference to mark this year’s International Youth Day. The theme for the day was using the hash-tag #IYDAfrica for about 3-4 hours, youth from around the continent engaged in an amazing discussion. I was honored to be one of the moderators.

It was very interesting to note what youth all over Africa had to say about migration for the youth in regard to development. Panelists present were individuals from Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria. Also present to share their views was an old but youthful at heart gentleman Dr Djibril Diallo. He is the convener of the Pan African Youth Leadership Summit which has been taking pace since 2004.

The twitter conversation was interesting and busting with lots of energy.
Some of the issues discussed include: why youth migrate, what are the risks and benefits of migration and what the status of young women migrants. Migration is taking place everywhere. Young people are constantly on the move. For the youth leaving Africa, it is about the opportunities that living abroad creates. Better health care, better wages and housing conditions, better environments to thrive for those that are looking for their talents to be appreciated.
The risks associated with migration are almost as grand as the benefits. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to pack and leave everything familiar and go and chase our dreams and aspirations. But it also allows the individual to grow their exposure to different cultures, work styles and environs and off course a better quality and standard of living. However none of these is guaranteed. Some people get better treatment as migrants than others. There are many horror stories that have over time shrouded the thoughts of migration for some. But that has not stopped people from moving from Africa to Europe or from Asia to America.
 In 2010, there were an estimated 27 million international young migrants. This International Youth Day was made to create awareness   about these concerns and gaining knowledge about them to let others know. Migration is a challenge but t is also a benefit. It allows us be ambassadors for our countries, cultures and families.
The twitter conference reached over 163,000 people and had over a million impressions.
A recap of the tweets can be found on here and here via Storify.
One thing remains though: the youth of Africa are it’s future. I hope that they realize how much power they have to be able to make a difference and leave a legacy.

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