Baywood Foundation has partnered with the African Union to achieve increase in the participation of youth in politics and governance across Africa.
Speaking during a press conference, Founder of Baywood Foundation, Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe said the foundation is collaborating with the African Union to organize an interactive conference in Addis Ababa with the theme “Back To The Future – Young People Reimagining Today’s Politics”.
During the Conference which would have representatives from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mali, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Kenya and Tanzania is aimed at stimulating effective discourse to drive a sustainable action agenda on youth’s participation in governance.
Baywood Foundation is renowned for youth-oriented initiatives which have
positively impacted on young people in Nigeria. In the past several years, Baywood Foundation has engaged with key stakeholders across broad-ranging demographics in Nigeria to mobilize and galvanize youths, supported and funded relevant initiatives including a widely heralded book called BEYOND RHETORIC which is a clarion call for affirmative action beyond mere lip-service. The major highlight of the book was the demand for the adoption of 3O% affirmative action on youths.
Emperor said “the major outcome of this Conference would be a pathway to the actualization of a pioneering Baywood Foundation initiative in collaboration with the African Union which not only creates inclusive opportunities for youth but also develops their intrinsic capabilities for future leadership roles. Baywood Foundation is proposing this initiative which offers leadership development and a path to greater involvement in political governance for youths throughout Africa.
“Beginning from 2020, Baywood Foundation in collaboration with the African Union, ECOWAS and other sub- regional economic community councils will be partnering on a pilot project known as Baywood Foundation Internship scheme in support of the affirmative action. We expect that when this takes off, the initiative would have the capacity to absorb 200,000 youths across Africa over a period of 10 years”
Emperor Baywood said the political capacities of the youths would be developed through placement opportunities at relevant political agencies, corporate organizations, legislative bodies and government agencies to enable them establish networks, upgrade knowledge levels and chart a career path in Government.
He also disclosed that Baywood Foundation will be providing the seed capital to finance the take-off of the project. He butressed that, “the roadmap for the actualization of this initiative is one of the major topics on the agenda at the Conference in Ethiopia. This initiative requires the support and cooperation of broad ranging implementation
partners throughout Africa including the AU. This Baywood Foundation proposal is in
alignment with the African Youth Charter, a political and legal framework which provides a strategic framework and direction for development activities at
continental, regional and national levels across Africa.
“Baywood Foundation is therefore collaborating with the AU to provide an avenue for effective youth participation in governance, institutional transformation, effective stakeholder outreach within the continent as well as strengthening multi-lateral cooperation with regional political and economic communities as well as international development partners.”
He stressed that, “this initiative is not a counterfoil or a counter-agenda to
existing socio-economic and political structures, but it seeks to redefine a more
inclusive approach to youth participation in governance and the political landscape to
strengthen the democratic process and succession planning in African governance.
“However, we believe at Baywood Foundation that the primary responsibility for shaping the destiny and future of Africa lies in the hands of Africans and more especially with the youth. We therefore call on all stakeholders throughout Africa, especially the African Union to join hands with Baywood Foundation for the success of this initiative so that we can together build a peaceful and prosperous continent”, he added.