Adolescents tell the world about the Africa They Want

On World Children’s Day, 10 adolescent girls and boys from six countries – including Niger share their inspiration about The Africa They Want.

By UNICEF Africa
African adolescents tell the world about the Africa They Want
UNICEF Africa/2018

19 November 2018

“It’s true that some realities on the continent are unenviable, but Africa overflows with huge opportunities that are only asking to be concretized. I strongly believe in progress.” Rimana,16, from Niger

From education to climate change, migration, living with disabilities, HIV and more: young people in Africa have a lot to say about issues that matter the most to them. On the occasion of World Children’s Day, 10 adolescent girls and boys from six West and Central African countries – including Niger share their inspiration about The Africa TheyWant. 

Gathered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, ahead of 20 November, the 10 young speakers aged 14 to 18 years-old from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger took the stage of the Africa Dialogues conference to tell the world about the future they envision on their continent, encouraged by an audience of about 400 of their peers. 

Organized in partnership with UNICEF, the Ghanaian organization People Initiative Foundation, the African Union and other partners, this event aims to celebrate World Children’s Day, the anniversary of the Convention of the Right of the Child, giving children and young people the opportunity to make their voices heard and be part of the construction of tomorrow’s world. 

Below are more information about our young speaker Rimana and her topic, as well as what she thought of the Africa Dialogues event. 

Rimana Youssouf Assane Mayaki, 16, from Niger 

“Africa Dialogues was a huge opportunity for me to widen my knowledge and to meet young speakers from various [African] countries. Although we all come from different places, what we all have in common is hope and confidence that we can bring change on our continent - because we do believe that our continent can change. Through the presentations we delivered, we covered various issues that the continent in general, and our respective countries in particular, are facing. It’s true that some realities on the continent are unenviable, but Africa overflows with huge opportunities that are only asking to be concretized. I strongly believe in progress. With all these young people, we’ll never stop fighting for the Africa we want – a powerful, self-conscious, educated Africa that looks towards the future and knows progress is possible.”

African adolescents tell the world about the Africa They Want
UNICEF Africa/2018