“Think about a peaceful Africa; think about a united Africa, what if we could celebrate our differences, what if diversity was a word that unified us rather than one that ripped us apart.”
This was one of the greatest lessons I learned at the Eastern African Youth Forum. I was blessed to be part of the 5th East African Youth Forum, which took place in Juba, South Sudan in May. South Sudan is only four years old, still torn apart by tribal conflicts and poverty, but rising against all odds to become a great nation.
“The aim of the forum is to bring together East African youth leaders to address African problems and find solutions aiming at a better Africa.”
The forum opened my eyes to how our motherland was being torn and ripped apart for no good reason at all. To some leaders the word democracy is a foreign language, as in Burundi where the president’s need for a third term has pushed the country into conflict and war. Tribal conflicts and wars have impaired development in many regions. The divergence of the 64 South Sudanese tribes has weakened the country and is the cause of constant conflict. The violation of human rights in Eritrea, where external and internal movements are still denied, can also not be forgotten. The heavy tax on incoming goods and high rates of visa denials are serious problems with its government.
This meeting was just a glimpse of what great minds could do only if they reflected in unison. Letlapa Mphahlele, a South African freedom fighter, told us that not all battles will be won by blood and to never to underestimate the power of united voices. If we come together, we can create a better Africa.
Africa, you are not a land of problems, but a land of purity and love. Do not to forget your greatest strength: your children.
Let your voice be heard.
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