Africa Day - Pan-Africanists to Discuss Continental Development Challenges

Africa Day: Youth participation, the power is in our hands.

Over 500 participants who are members of Pan African Movement (PAM) will on Saturday convene in Kigali to deliberate on issues that need urgent attention to enable the continent develop faster and catch up with the rest of the world.

The International Conference for Pan African Movement (PAM) Rwanda Chapter will be held at Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo to discuss issues of governance, sustainable development, education and peace and security, according to Protais Musoni, the Chairperson of PAM Rwanda.

The conference is part of PAM Week activities organised to mark Africa Day that is observed on May 25 and this year, it will be held under the theme: "Celebration of Africa Day: The Future of Africa- Challenges and Prospects."

Participants will hear from experienced researchers, scholars and experts in different fields on how to handle the issues the continent is faced with and how its opportunities can be harnessed to develop it.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Musoni said that the meeting will devise ways to handle the issues that Africa is likely to be challenged with in the future, especially in areas like governance, sustainable development, peace and security and education.

On governance, he said the meeting will be looking at issues hampering good governance in Africa and what Africa needs to do differently so that it can be able to strategically position itself at the centre of global affairs.

"There are trade restrictions, we have unions that are breaking up, we have emerging powers, we need to see what we can do in our governance to be able to meet these challenges but also exploit the opportunities that are created," Musoni said.

"The second is sustainable development, again we are looking at emerging and changing trends, trends in manufacturing, trends in trade, trends in technology,... what is it Africa should do differently and progressively to make sure that development growth that we now have is sustained ," he noted.

On peace and security, Musoni said there are a number of challenges on the continent in this area and when turbulence emerges in the world, tendency is that they may cause more instability within the continent.

"We need to investigate more to find out what are the emerging threats, what are the emerging opportunities and strategies so that Africa can be free and secure," he said.

He noted that the education system in Africa was displaced by the colonial system to serve the interest of colonizers and needs decolonising.

"In Pan African movement we still see colonialism in the education system, so how do we decolonize education to create a capable and focused youth who can solve the African problems," he said.

Able continent

Musoni said that despite the poverty on the continent and dependency on the rest of the world, Africa has the potential and ability to develop itself.

"I think and believe that if we put our act together, Africa is capable of creating another narrative and the ingredients are there. Population-wise, we are a fifth of the world population, age-wise, we have almost 40 per cent of the global youth and we have our natural resources especially the strategic minerals for mobile phones," he said.

"If you combined these with good mindset and the right education, Africa can easily exploit the opportunities that are there and we move forward," he added.

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