• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Kenyan Top Stories

Telling Kenyan Stories

Dr. Manu Chandaria accompanied by daughter Priti Chandaria receives the Legacy of Peace Award from the Global Peace Foundation.

Young people took center stage as this year’s Global Peace Leadership Conference drew to a close, touted as the major drivers of the African Renaissance with participants calling for increased investment in youth led collaboration initiatives and activities in the continent.

The conference, which happened on the backdrop of a youth led countrywide protest against new proposed tax laws in Kenya, commenced on June 25, 2024, at the Konza Technopolis in Machakos County with a commitment by participants to environment conservation as an important tool for ensuring peace and social cohesion.

Led by Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, Chairman and Founder of the Global Peace Foundation and Priti Chandaria of the Chandaria Foundation among other partners, over 1000 participants including primary and secondary school children planted 30,000 trees in support of the greening Konza initiative.

Conference organisers cancelled the official opening ceremony initially scheduled for Wednesday June 26, 2024 due to the week-long protests that intensified on June 25, 2024 leading to the death of multiple protesters on account of law enforcement and the destruction of property including the Kenyan parliament and city hall, seat of the county government of the capital city Nairobi, that were both partially set ablaze.

The ceremony was substituted by prayers for the nation and the injured with the conference issuing a statement urging for calm and dialogue in resolving the impasse between the state and aggrieved protesters.

“Every successful transformation movement is a peaceful one. Anything that leads to violence and destruction only begets more violence and destruction,” said Dr. Moon, Chairman and Founder of the Global Peace Foundation who lauded the Kenyan youth for taking the reigns in advocating for impactful causes and urged them to maintain the spirit of peace.

During the closing ceremony various speakers from accross the continent championed youthful engagement in driving change and collaboration in the spirit of ubuntu, while calling on African leaders to show their commitment to peace and ethical governance by investing in young people and who would take Africa to it’s next phase of prosperity.

Former President of Nigeria, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, shares his reflections during his closing speech of the GPLC Africa 2024

“Promoting democratic principles, transparency, and accountability is central to the African renaissance story. Good governance, political stability and the respect for human rights are therefore critical tools that must be supported to help position Africa as a key player in global peace and leadership development”, said former  President of Nigeria His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo.

Speaking during the Youth Leadership and Sustainable Development track, Moses Segun Obalade, Executive Director of the Peace Education and Network practice in Nigeria expressed the need for policies by African governments that reward and prioritise societal efforts and contributions towards the African renaissance spirit of Ubuntu.

His sentiments were further echoed by Somalia’s Abdisalan Dualeh, the Executive Director, Somaliland Youth Development and Voluntary Organization, who called for the creation and strengthening of youth led Pan-African organisations that would carry on the work of African integration and collaboration in pursuit of peace and sustainable development.

The session that zeroed in, on the urgency and agency of restoring African economies by promoting self reliance of the youth as one means of achieving sustainable development, called for simplified market access and enablement through financial inclusion, the lack of which has impeded youth participation and access opportunities especially affecting many marginalized and rural communities across  Africa.

“Financial access is still largely governed by an individual’s proficiency and understanding of financial concepts. Those with higher skills and expertise have a better chance of achieving their financial goals. Unfortunately this also means the majority poor will keep getting left behind with each generational advancement and which is one of the narratives that an African renaissance can change by opening new avenues for collaboration and learning to ensure each year we are lifting up more and more people out of poverty,” said inclusivity champion, Rachida El Rhdiou, relating her perspective with the situation back in her home country of Morocco.

Key Youth Speaker, Morocco’s Rachida El Rhdiou shares her experiences in leadership as the GPLC 2024 concluded in Nairobi

Otim Brian Joseph, the Former Deputy Youth Ambassador to the East Africa Community for the Republic of Uganda, called attention to the need for upscaling market access and skills transfer  through digital technologies and programmes to reach far flung populations with priority on empowering women and youth entreprenuers who currently need these services the most.  

The Patron of the Global Peace Foundation in Kenya, industrialist Dr. Manu Chandaria, in his message to the conference vocalized his vision for an African renaissance that would unlock the enormous potential of Africa and its people while urging those blessed with resources and opportunity to take lead in facilitating Africa’s development and eventual transformation starting at the local level while contributing new  ideas to the continent.

Among the key take outs of the conference was the call for Africans to also embrace their shared cultural, economic, and political heritage as a transformative movement to not only revive but also celebrate Africa’s unique diversity with a renewed commitment to fostering global peace and stability.

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