The YALDA (Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa) conference was recently held from the 18 to the 21st August 2011 at the Gaborone Sun. Under the theme Spotlight on Africa, Youth owning Africa’s Development Wave, the whole idea was to empower youth to take initiative in improving Africa and of course become respectable African leaders of tomorrow.
The Public Relations Manager of YALDA Botswana, Wazha Phumaphi stated that the theme for this years’ conference was enriched from a Book by Mackenzie and Company, Life of the Youth, which states that Africa’s GDP is set to increase by 2,6 billion.
Phumaphi  went on to say that this motivated YALDA to empower the youth in order for them to  participate in reaching the  goal to improve the GDP, hence the conference, which inspired the youth to strive for prosperity in life.

YALDA Members

Many young people, Phumaphi noted, do not get a chance to get vital information that is important in enriching their lives and in the long run boost the economy of Africa though they are directly affected by what is happening around them. The young Public Relations Manager stated that they had invited business people and specialists form  different fields to pave way for the youth to network with these experienced people in whatever field that they are interested in.
A physically challenged  conference participant, Obopilwe Mosimane, who is physically pleaded with YALDA to be a national advocate for the rights of the disabled.
With  disability, today its you  but tomorrow it could be you” said Mosimane touching a cord with his audience.
When tackling the issue of disabled youth, Wazha Phumaphi mentioned that YALDA’s aim was to work with all youth, regardless of their differences, either racial, physical, or colours. She said YALDA is a youth organization that empowers young people to empower others. “We believe in empowering one for all, if we empower you as an individual, you should take it upon yourself to empower the next youth,” she said

Orange,  public relations Manager, Itumeleng Ramsden along with a team of youth living with disabilities were also present at the conference. Orange Botswana had sponsored these youth to be delegates of this important conference to give them an opportunity to interact with other youth and also to be part of the voices that can aid in the development of Africa. The sponsored youth along with an interpreter were Obopilwe Mosimane, Shirley Keoagile, Rethabile Jonny and Patience Kgetse.
The Public Relations Manager stated that they have the Orange Foundation, which focuses on helping in the education and health sectors to try and improve lives of young people and those in need of assistance. Ramsden went on to say that they were more than delighted to be associated with the conference as they believe that changing an African individual is changing Africa as a whole and they strongly believed that it is important to include and empower people living with disabilities something that Orange is committed to.

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Chris M

Brilliant! We need more of this to build Africa from bottom up! After all 65 – 75% of African populations are under the age of 45 years! Focus should be on the youth!