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Oct 13, 2011, 3:51 PM
Three young Gambians yesterday Sunday 1st August 2010 left Banjul for Washington D.C. to join up to 120 young leaders from civil society and the private sector representing more than 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. They are expected to take part in a three-day forum hosted by US President Barrack Obama.
Isatou Dumbuya, columnist with The Point newspaper; Sana Sarr of Unique Solutions and Kojo Quayson of Oceanic Bank will from August 3rd to 5th together with American counterparts and U.S. government officials share their insights on key themes of youth empowerment, good governance, and economic opportunity.
According to a statement from the US Embassy in Banjul, the forum is in honour of 50 years of independence celebrated in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa; in acknowledgement of the extraordinarily young demographic profile of the region; and as part of an effort to forge strong, forward-looking partnerships in the years ahead.
The President's Forum with Young African Leaders, the statement added, presents the U.S. government and American friends of Africa with an opportunity to deepen and broaden our understanding of the trajectories of African societies, and to reflect on how the next generation are building their communities' and their nations' futures - just as their predecessors did in the era of independence from colonial rule.
The statement further stated that President Obama will host a town hall meeting at the White House with these young leaders to discuss their vision for transforming their societies over the next 50 years.
In addition to the town hall meeting with the President, the forum will include small-group discussions on topics such as transparency and accountability, job creation and entrepreneurship, rights advocacy, and the use of technology to empower individuals and communities. African participants will have an opportunity to meet with grassroots service organizations to share experiences and strategies, the statement said.
"As the President said in Accra, the future of Africa is up to Africans. The U.S. government's role in this gathering is as a convener, encouraging networks between young American and African leaders, and pursuing lasting partnerships on behalf of our common security and prosperity. This dialogue and follow-up events in Africa will help the U.S. government better assess how to support Africa?s own aspirations going forward," the statement added.