When people can get in touch, they can achieve many good things together. Connection or networking is a fundamental element for sustainable development. This is what the Language Improvement Corner (L.I.C.) and the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) understand. It is the reason why they initiated the West African Young Leaders Summit (WAYLS) whichis a project designed for AFRICA by The Language Improvement Corner (L.I.C.) and the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) to connect young African leaders from every part of AFRICA to think about sustainable development and share business opportunities. The summit also aims at empowering youths in leadership and business management.
Many decades ago, African people thought about ways to change positively the African continent to give every African man and woman better living and working conditions. As Martin Luther once said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”, therefore the WAYLS is given to African young leaders and entrepreneurs to get into contact in order to work together towards the achievement of a real process of development by finding out what matter the most for AFRICA.
THREE DOMAINS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The West African Young Leaders Summit (WAYLS) takes into account three domains or fields of activities. According to its manual of procedures, these fields can be changed in the coming year depending on the needs of the countries involved. For the first edition of the project the fields are: Agriculture, Education and Technology.
Agriculture is the First Idea of Development in Africa
We believe that development in Africa cannot be achieved without Agriculture. Agriculture is essential for Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth and for achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty eradicated by the end of 2015. Agriculture employs 65 percent of Africa’s labor force and accounts for 32 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agricultural performance has improved since 2000 but growth is not fast enough yet. Agricultural GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa has accelerated from 2.3 percent per year in the 1980s to 3.8 percent per year from 2000 to 2005. Growth has been mostly based on area expansion, but land is scarce and many countries are facing limits to further expansion. Land and agricultural productivity must increase because the African farm-yields are among the lowest in the world. Higher and sustained growth will require attention to five core areas of public action: facilitating agricultural markets and trade; improving agricultural productivity; investing in public infrastructure for agricultural growth; reducing rural vulnerability and insecurity; and improving agricultural policy and institutions.
Education in Africa needs to take into account Business and Cultural Assets
Education is the second area on the WAYLS. It has to be based on practical subjects that will enable young Africans to get on business creation in order to help Government in the reduction of poverty and youth unemployment. The education systems inherited from the colonial powers were designed for the formal sector and public administration. However, ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa) has become aware of the informal sector’s relevance in developing countries, and thus recognized the need for increased vocational school training as a way to help the informal sector. According to UNESCO’s Regional overview on Sub-Saharan Africa, in 2000 52% of children were enrolled in primary schools – the lowest enrollment rate of any region. UNESCO also reported marked gender inequalities. In most parts of Africa there is much higher enrollment by boys; in some there are more girls due to sons having to stay home and tend to the family farm. Africa has more than 42 million children, almost half the school-age child population receiving no schooling. Two-thirds of these are girls.
Technologies in Africa need more care and innovation
Science and technology in Africa has unfolded since the dawn of human history. The first evidence of tool making and utilization by our hominid ancestors is interred in valleys across Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, 40 percent of African-born scientists live in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, predominantly NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and EU (European Union) countries. This has been described as an African brain drain. Although technology parks have a long history in the US and Europe, their presence across Africa is still limited, as the continent currently lags behind other regions of the world in terms of funding technological development and innovation. Only six countries (Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, Madagascar, Tunisia and South Africa) have made technology park construction an integral piece of their development goals. In recent years, a greater volume of African countries have embraced technology as a driver of development, e.g. Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Rwanda’s rapid ICT growth. Telecom innovation in particular has broadly improved quality of life across Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, continent-wide membership in social networking sites such as Facebook has risen to over 100,000 by 2012. This simply means that if Africa gives more care to Technology, there will be outstanding changes in Agriculture and in Education for sustainable development.
Date and Activities of the West African Young Leaders Summit (WAYLS)-BENIN 2015
From 10 to 12 September 2015 in Porto-Novo, capital city of BENIN REPUBLIC: More details on www.beninshowbuzz.com