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Two young people from The Gambia, namely Danial A Ceesay and Rose A Sambou will leave the country on Monday, October 26th for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The duo will from 28 October to 5 November 2009 participate in the Young Men Christian Association, YMCA's upcoming African YMCA Youth Summit on the theme 'From Subject to Citizen: African Youth Claiming their Space, Influencing for Positive Transformation.'
The forum, according to Daniel A Ceesay, is aimed at building the civic competence of selected youth leaders, with special emphasis on youth crisis in Africa. Participants will identify major crises, analyse root causes and develop action plans to become agents of transformation.
He revealed that some sixty participants from Africa, along with representatives from YMCAs of North America, Europe and Asia, would be equipped with skills to act as citizens and not subjects who are manipulated and victimised.
The main goal of the Youth Summit is to equip a new generation of youth leaders in Africa with tools of effective civic engagement.
By building civic competence, these youth would be engaged to positively influence those in authority. Equipped with both the beliefs in themselves and the skills of engagement, young people will be able to effectively engage in the processes of African Renaissance;
Positively influence the private sector to prioritise investment in the future of young people and to provide market access opportunities to youth; and
It will influence political and civic decision-making processes and policy formation in favour of the youth in Africa.
Coinciding with African Youth Day on 1 November, participants will also be advocating for the full ratification of the African Youth Charter and its implementation at country level throughout the continent.
Daniel also used the interview to convey what he referred to as comments from Vezi Mncwango, YMCA volunteer and the summit lead facilitator:
Youth in Africa have been subjects used by politicians and criminals for agenda that are not in favour of their development. On a material level, these youth become entrapped in a spiral of escalating poverty. Young people fall into conflict with the law-either as perpetrators or victims when they are perceived as subjects, treated like subjects and behave like subjects.