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Opinions of Monday, 27 May 2013

Columnist: Akpah, Prince

A Day Spent At The Africa Youth Economic Forum

AU day as it was, I made a choice out of many events to be at the Africa Youth Economic Forum organised by the Ghana Center for Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation in partnership with the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana at the Accra International Conference Center. Sitting back to reflect on this day, I had this running through my mind, will our colonial masters see this day as a shame to them? Because Africa is celebrating a unity that they them? Africa which is of the same age with other continents is now celebrating It's fifty years of unity. What is our way forward from here fellow Africans. Africa is still a virgin soil which someone especially the youths must start exploiting for us to be relieved economically and then call ourselves independent. Welcome to the Africa Youth Economic Forum.

I arrived very early just to beat the African Time. The prime schedule as it was for us to take a tour around Accra commenced. We pass through significant places such as the Flagstaff house, Ministry of Defence, Kotoka International Airport, 37 Military hospital where our former president passed on, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Circle then finally to the Liberation Center. It was much convincing seeing young people across Africa trooping in for the august event. You can just say, they are here with the emotions of anger to change the state of our economic status. Africa has only being boosting about their political independence but not the economic independence. We know about it but what are we doing about it. But i wasn't just there to listen to people but also write. #Keep writing# The Forum begun with an introduction of the various committee chairpersons and it was wonderful and challenging to see fellow young people inspiring other young people. A wonderful poem was also delivered my Poet Sony to empower we the African Youths to lead the change even despite our colour Of being black which we must admit as black and never use it to Hinder ourselves from progressing in life.

A keynote address by the Executive director of GCEEI and the 27th most influential personality in Ghana Was about the theme : Building Intra-Africa Trade Through Pan-Africanism and Partnership. This is to teach and empower young people to break Barriers, help them with funds and tools. Talking on what Africa must use to promote trade, we must start using the solution here. He also used that opportunity to tell us about the launch of a business start-up cap also to take place on the event. The diplomatic Corps were also in attendance who also wished us well for the event and emphasized that the future of Africa is ours as youth and we must have to achieve the social economic emancipation. The Minister of State and member of Parliament, Fiifi Kwetey was also glad to meet young people as it is always his joy to be part of them. He entreated us not to make this meeting of young people that of the status of older generations who have the attribute of only talking, Talking and talking without doing anything. We have also resorted from Blaming slave trade to colonialism to neo-colonialism and may be God because of our problems. Trade he said was very important for our development there our meeting to deliberate over it was very laudable and also learn how to do it base on partnerships. He also expressed his worried over why people prefer to manage a $1000 Business than to have a partnership even worth $50,000, $100,000 and $1million worth businesses. We also must recognise and appreciate ourselves that we are capable. We must also be of integrity, confidence and trust. He also made us know that it is the little things of value that will help us bring the change. We also need to work hard to change fundamental things. Africa is not suffering from the lack of knowledge, we just undermine our growth and transformation. We hold the promise of growth. I couldn't just conclude but to say if Africa get to have people think like him for the next 50 years we won't be that developing country or continent any longer. No wonder he was ranked WAEC best student in West Africa when he completed Bishop Herman. He concluded saying our problem as Africa is the lack of the right people and if we don't remedy it now we will still continue talking for the next 50 years. AFRICA STOP TALKING AND DO SOMETHING.

Mr. Emmanuel Nyame from the Ghana Angel Investors Network came to officially launch the Ghana start-up cap which is a business module to grow business. It is a competition for people of all ages where you just need to submit a business idea into the competition. The best 25 will be selected at first and screening will still be taking place till the best 3 will be selected and supported financially to make them realities. The initiative was launched and officially open for contest till June 30. The head of UNESCO Ghana, Mr. Tirso Dos Santos also spoke to us. He made a recount of how he had to learn to drive on the right in Ghana as in his country they drive on the left. So in all those attempt his attention was not to drive over the hawkers on the street. People are on the street trading just because of unemployment. He also spoke about UNESCO objectives in Ghana. As it was founded on the 6th of November 1945 it was to build peace, eradicate poverty and others of sustainable development are their goals. He also stressed on that youths must take the cultural values and market them as in trade to also reduce unemployment in Africa. We must take advantage of our cultural heritage, package things such as the kente, beads and market them. We can also publish books about our cultural heritage which have the potential of creating jobs.

Next to speak was Mr. Charles Mensah who spoke on Wealth Creation.

To be continued. Thank you Akpah Prince akpahprince@ymail.com akpahprince.wordpress.com