Jul 16, 2009, 6:53 AM
Ms. Portia. K. Sithole, a Zimbabwean youth has emerged the winner of the second edition of the African Youth Initiative and Creativity Award.
The African Union Division of Communications and Information has revealed.
According to the AU media dispatch, the African Youth Initiative and Creativity Award (AYICA) was launched on November 1, 2007 as a means to actively involve young people in the efforts to popularise the African Youth Charter and to provide them with a means to express their greatest needs.
Focusing on the development and presentation of innovative speeches and policy options, the 2009 awards provided young people the opportunity to provide firsthand feedback to their respective parliaments on youth development situation in their countries and their thoughts on what are the key areas of priorities for young people within the context of implementing the African Youth Charter.
Ms. Sithole is a final year student of Economic History at the University of Zimbabwe. She was selected from a total of 17 applications submitted from 13 member states. The second and third place winners for the AYICA awards were Mr. DOUGBA Venance from Cote D?Ivoire and MR. Mouhammed Mbougar Sarr from Senegal.
The winners will receive a cash prize, a certificate and a trophy at the meeting of the bureau of the second conference of ministers in charge of youth (COMY), which was to be held in Addis Ababa yesterday October 28, 2009.
The criteria for the selection of the best presentations were: comprehensibility of the speeches presented, quality of presentation, quality of argument on the subject area and quality of proposals presented.
The second AYICA awards were organised, according to five key areas: African Youth Charter; Citizenship and Positive Values; Youth Policy; Youth Rights and Participation; and Youth Adult Partnership.
An inter-departmental selection team at the AU Commission chose the final winners.
The context of the 2009 AYICA awards is particularly relevant as it takes place only 2 months after the entry into force of the African Youth Charter on August 8, 2009.
The third edition of the AYICA awards, the release added, will be launched on November 1, 2009.
It could be recalled that back home in The Gambia, some young people contested for the competition and a few shortlisted candidates were asked to present their papers before the National Assembly.
The contest was coordinated by the National Youth Council NYC, who later on forwarded the candidates' work to the AU headquarter in Addis.
The man at the helm of affairs at the NYC is Mr.Marcel Mendy. When Youth Forum contacted him yesterday, he said in every competition there is bound to be winners and losers.
"Actually what our candidate presented was very educative, quantitative and argumentative. Her presentation was very comprehensive," he said.
NYC boss stressed that may be The Gambia's representative didn't win as a result of the competitiveness of the contest.
"Maybe the winners have equally presented similar pertinent and crucial issues for the continent," he added.
He expressed optimism that "comes next edition the country will do even better."