‘Africans need to stop asking to sit at the table’: How our youth build a legacy

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 Yaa-Ashantewaa Archer Ngidi gave the opening ceremony address at the Africa Youth Summit conference. She is a facilitator, motivational speaker, Afrikan history educator and lecturer born to Ghanaian parents. Picture: Supplied.
Yaa-Ashantewaa Archer Ngidi gave the opening ceremony address at the Africa Youth Summit conference. She is a facilitator, motivational speaker, Afrikan history educator and lecturer born to Ghanaian parents. Picture: Supplied.

For Africans by Africans in Africa; the second instalment of the Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit kicked off this week, with the first day of the two-day conference taking place on Wednesday at the University of South Africa in Pretoria.

The conference with in the summit aims to promote collaborations, partnerships and networks among the youth in Africa and the diaspora.

With a pan-African approach, the summit brings together youth leaders from all over the continent to share ideas on how to advance growth, from education and the economy to art and social activism.

The speakers at the conference include activists Andile Gaelesiwe, Zulaikha Patel, social entrepreneur Vivian Onano and representatives from the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, among other young leaders.

Educator and motivational speaker Yaa-Ashantewaa Archer Ngidi delivered a passionate opening address for the conference to inspire the youth. She spoke about what she calls the seven principles, which include unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

“More than anything, young people need to be bold, courageous and consistent. You need to not be a fast food generation. Your fight should be like a nice, slow-cooked meal from those three-legged African pots because when you finally serve what you’ve been cooking, you’ll be proud at how good it is,” said Ngidi.

“Moreover, we as Africans need to stop asking permission to sit at the table. We must recognise our right to be at the table because we deserve to be there, and it is our table,” she said.

The second and last day of the conference will take place on Thursday in Johannesburg, where young leaders will discuss decolonising education, eradicating poverty, social change and integrating the youth in the African economy.

The youth summit includes outreach programmes, tourism and networking that takes place over the five day programme, and will conclude on Friday with a series of workshops.

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