At a glance: Morocco

Young leaders search for solutions at the Second Pan-African Youth Summit

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/ Getachew
At the Summit: Youth leaders with H.R.H. Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco, H.E. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal and Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

By Indrias Getachew

IFRANE, Morocco, 24 August 2005 – Some 200 youth delegates from over 50 countries came together here for The Second Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit, to help find solutions to the problems and challenges facing young people around the world today.

Zerihun Mamo, a university student and founder of the Ethiopian Youth Forum, was one of the delegates, travelling far from home to take part in the week-long event.

“I have come [to Ifrane] to talk to other young people,” said Zerihun. “Here I will be exposed to other ways of solving problems, other ways of communicating. 

“There are young people here from different parts of Africa. They might get some experience from me. I will get lots of experience from them. And this will help me when I get back home, where I will tell my friends and other youth groups and [together] we can do something great.”

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/ Getachew
Zerihun Mamo, a university student and founder of the Ethiopian Youth Forum, participated in the Second Pan-African Youth Summit.

Zerihun became a youth activist after representing Ethiopia at the United Nations Special Session on Children held in New York in 2002. The Ethiopian Youth Forum is a voluntary organization, supported by UNICEF, that provides opportunities for youth dialogue and participation on social and development issues.

The MDGs

Another issue that the Ethiopian Youth Forum works on is the role of youth in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. This issue was at the heart of the discussions at the Summit. The MDGs are about reducing poverty and mortality; promoting health, education and equality; the battle against HIV/AIDS; and creating partnerships for development.

“Poverty is the greatest problem in my country,” says Zerihun. “I believe that if we can show young people how they can involve themselves in development and if the government and other sectors involve young people in their activities, if they educate them well, then I think we can eradicate poverty from Ethiopia.”

The youth delegates were joined by H.R.H. Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco; H.E. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal; and Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sport for Development.

The Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit is part of a series of regional consultations which will culminate in the Global Youth Leadership Summit at UN Headquarters in New York in 2006.

The youth delegates at the Pan-African Summit represented more than 50 countries, including 40 in Africa and 12 others in Asia, South America and the Caribbean.


 

 

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