What about us?
This past Friday, young Nigerians around the world demanded of their presidential candidates, "what about us?"
Forming the majority of the population and over half of registered voters in the upcoming elections, Nigerian youth recognised and asserted their need to be heard and addressed. The What about us? campaign called for the first ever youth-focused Presidential Debate. Organised by Nigerian Youth empowerment groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora, though diverse, they share a common belief that the time for change in Nigeria is now. And that young people have the power to make it happen.
I missed the live streaming of the debate but I witnessed the momentum in advance of the event via social networks. Did you catch it? What were your thoughts?
Columbia University African Economic Forum
I also caught some snippets from the 8th annual Columbia University African Economic Forum, via Twitter. Below are a few from twitterer, Karen Attiah:
"We cannot just wait around for good leaders to emerge. We've got to start doing things today. Lets empower people – Deverajan"
"Audience comment: If Africans abroad stopped looking at ourselves as insignificant compared to our governments, we could make a difference"
"Financially, borrowing money maybe looks cheap, but the stigma of begging at the World Bank every year is more expensive – Moyo"
"Fundamental problem with aid is that it severs the social contract between people and the govts who are to provide public goods -Moyo"
"What are we as educated Africans, and the intl community who cares about Africa, going to DO? -Moyo"
"This PR strategy of convincing us as Africans that we cannot contribute to global development -Moyo"
It's interesting to see how Africans (and especially the youth) are campaigning for change in different ways – and how technology is helping to engage Africans in the Diaspora and involve them more directly in what is going on at home. I for one, am very grateful for this!
So, what are we going to do in the way that we each can contribute to change?
Last week on the blog
Here is a recap, in case you missed anything:
Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).
Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!
Image copyright Sarah Markes